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The concept of controlled foreign company and its complience with the EU-law: Does the Swedish chapter 39a Income Tax Act constitute a breach on freedom of establishment?
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Commercial Law.
2011 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]


Establishment in foreign countries can be achieved through a subsidiary company or a permanent establishment. Profit of a subsidiary company is normally taxed in accordance with the law of the country of where it is established, since a subsidiary company constitutes a separate legal entity. A permanent establishment on the other hand is not a separate legal entity, therefore profit in a permanent establishment is usually added on to the company’s total profit and taxed in accordance with the law of the country of where the company is established.

Establishing business activities in foreign countries do normally not create problems, unless the business is carried on in a low tax jurisdiction. If that is the case, unlimited opportunities are created for companies to circumvent domestic taxation by transferring profit to the low tax jurisdiction, which in turn decreases the domestic tax base. In Sweden this kind of circumvention is precluded by chapter 39a ITA, in the meaning that a shareholder in a foreign company can be tax liable of low taxed profit in a foreign. The question that arises is whether chapter 39a ITA infringes on freedom of establishment.

The outcome in the analysis is that there is a likeliness that chapter 39a ITA constitutes a restriction on the freedom of establishment. The escape provided in article 52 TFEU cannot justify the measure. Nor is it likely that the measure can be justified by the rule of reason. In the light of the assessment done in the analysis, it can be concluded that the chapter 39a ITA is applied in a non-discriminatory manner, satisfies a mandatory requirement (prevention of tax avoidance) and is regarded as appropriate in securing the achievement of the objectives. But there is a potential risk that measure will fail in the proportionality test.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 46 p.
Keyword [en]
International Tax Law, CFC, direct taxation, EU-law, internal market, freedom of establishment.
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-15553OAI: diva2:426318
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2011-06-29 Created: 2011-06-23 Last updated: 2011-06-29Bibliographically approved

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