The deductibility of the VAT content of incoming invoices has long been a source of consternation both for equity investors and for the holding companies heading up corporate groups. In a relaxation of the general ban on VAT deduction in these cases, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) has given ‘active’ holding companies a way around the restrictions. Meanwhile, other recent judgments by the Court have further expanded the opportunities for VAT deduction. Nevertheless, the ECJ’s decisions also show that it’s better to err on the side of caution.
“It’s such a good deal that it won’t last for long”, cried hundreds of business owners in response to the suggestions of setting up an ESOP. However, a bill recently adopted by the Parliament suggests that if a company uses this type of employee benefits scheme for its intended purpose, they should be able to count on it in the long term as well.
A growing number of family businesses are coming up for sale these days. This is partly due to the favourable investment environment, and partly to the difficulties to pass on businesses to the next generation. A critical aspect in such deals is: what kind of tax implications the sale will have for the sellers. While, in some cases, the sale can be made tax-free, at other times a private individual divesting his or her share in the business can be faced with a tax liability of up to 34.5%.
In its judgement passed a few weeks ago, the treatment of European Court of Justice (ECJ) was flexible in the interpretation of the VAT “triangular transactions”. While this decision in favour of the taxpayer creates a tax planning opportunity for businesses involved in international trade of goods, it pays off to be cautions on the other side.
Based on a recently announced EU directive, your name and any tax advice you have received could end up with the tax authority. From July 2020, tax advisors, or in certain cases the taxpayers themselves, will be required to inform the tax authority of the details of certain tax planning structures that are classified as aggressive under the new directive. And what’s more, the disclosure obligation will apply retrospectively to all structures that taxpayers started implementing after 25 June 2018.
Ever since it was introduced eight years ago, the long-term investment account (TBSZ) has been a source of continuous excitement for tax advisors and their clients interested in saving on tax. This is not surprising, as the TBSZ allows business owners to take the income generated by their companies without any tax liability. And although some classic approaches to tax planning based on the TBSZ have closed over time, others are still available.
Numerous tax advantages can be gained if someone switches to being subject to the tax laws of another country (i.e. changes his tax residency). Although the country in which a private individual has residence is not a matter of choice, with careful planning of his personal circumstances it is possible to influence where he is taxed. And this affects anyone who takes on work abroad, whether for a short or a longer period.
The law is constantly in flux. While many people may find this intimidating, for us it’s precisely what makes it so exciting. We’d like to share this attitude with businesspeople and managers, and with those who just have an interest in business law, in the form of a regularly updated blog that discusses the latest tax law and commercial law issues in an accessible style. Feel free to send your questions and suggestions for topics you’d like us to cover to email@example.com.