Case law on thepurpose of transactions is starting to develop around the world. Is there a common pattern? Whether a financing structure was a “tax avoidance arrangement”  under  now repealed general anti-avoidance provisions of the New Zealand Income Tax Act 2004  was examined last month by the New Zealand Court of Appeal in Commissioner of…

Last month, the second edition of the book ‘Fundamentals of EU VAT Law‘ was published.[1] It was written by Herman van Kesteren, Simon Cornielje, Frank Nellen and me. The second edition received a major update and contains – among other things – new key CJEU case law and new EU VAT legislation (such as the…

With the General’s Court ruling on July 15, 2020, a first step has been taken in the question whether the Irish government has provided Apple with State Aid. So far, the General Court has ruled that the Commission has not been able to prove that the Irish government has provided State Aid to Apple. The…

Tatiana Falcão[1] On 22 July 2020 the European Commission opened a public consultation on the Carbon Border Adjustment proposal put forward as part of the EU Green Deal. This is not the first document issued under that initiative. In March 2020 the European Commission published an Inception Impact Assessment Report to discuss policy options for…

In a moment of crisis like the one provoked by the Coronavirus, the problems of tax avoidance and tax evasion become particularly relevant, even more when they are blamed for cutting national resources to ride out the crisis and save millions of lives. Experts and activists in many countries are appealing to governments to go…

Recently, national courts of several EU member States (notably France[1], Italy[2], the Netherlands[3] and Spain[4]) referred to the landmark judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) in the so-called “Danish cases”.[5] On 20 April 2020, the Swiss Supreme Court gave its own interpretation of these judgments[6] in an outbound dividend case…

In its judgment of January 21, 2020 (Santander case, available here), the European Court of Justice (ECJ) not only prevented the Spanish Central Tax Tribunal (Tribunal Económico-Administrativo Central – TEAC) from requesting a preliminary ruling due to its lack of juridical independence (para. 77), but it also recalled its obligation to ensure that EU law…

Council Directive (EU) 2018/822 (generally known as DAC 6) expressly provides for reporting obligations concerning cross-border arrangements that present an indication of a potential risk of tax avoidance. The Annex to the Directive lists the hallmarks triggering reporting obligations, which include the category of specific hallmarks concerning transfer pricing (Category E). The first of these…

Many States have incorporated General Anti-Avoidance Rules (GAARs) into their tax laws to prevent tax avoidance; within the EU, a GAAR is even mandatory for corporate taxation since 1 January 2019 (Article 6 of the EU Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive (EU ATAD)). States are recommended in the OECD Model Tax Convention on Income and Capital to…

The decisions of European Court of Justice (CJEU) in the Vodafone and Tesco cases[1] were eagerly awaited by many interested in EU tax law. It was expected that the CJEU would answer the question whether progressive turnover-based business taxes levied on certain sectors of the economy are compatible with EU law, more specifically with the…

Revised transfer pricing legislation set out in the Finance Act 2019 (No 45 of 2019), sections 24 to 27, represents a radical shift in the Irish approach to this area of international tax law. Transfer pricing legislation came somewhat later to Ireland than other OECD countries, having been first introduced in Finance Act 2010. The…

Two cases, currently before different courts highlight long-standing questions around the attribution of profits to permanent establishments. Irish and United Kingdom law on the attribution of profits to branches of non-resident companies remined identical for decades until 2003. In each country, a non-resident company trading through a branch in that country was chargeable to corporation…

May linking rules related to hybrid financial instruments be incompatible with the EU Fundamental freedoms? And with Article 24 (4) OECD MC? What about treaty override? It is no secret that hybrid financial instruments (HFIs) serve actual business and legal purposes by allowing investors and issuers to better meet their economic and legal needs from…

In June 2017, the European Commission published its proposal on transparency rules for tax planning by intermediaries and certain taxpayers (the Commission proposal). The Commission proposal was amended multiple times, before it was formally adopted as Directive 2018/822 (DAC6) on 25 May 2018. DAC6 requires Member States to put in place, by 31 December 2019,…