OS ECJ-TF 1/2019 on the ECJ Decision of 31 May 2018 in Hornbach-Baumarkt (Case C-382/16) Concerning the Application of Transfer Pricing Rules to Transactions between Resident and Non-Resident Associated Enterprises

European Taxation, vol. 59, n. 9 (2019)

11 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2020 Last revised: 17 Oct 2020

See all articles by João Félix Pinto Nogueira

João Félix Pinto Nogueira

International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation; University of Cape Town (UCT)

Francisco Alfredo Garcia Prats

Universitat de València

Werner C. Haslehner

Universite du Luxembourg

Volker Heydt

Independent

Eric Kemmeren

Tilburg University; Fiscal Institute Tilburg

Georg Kofler

Vienna University of Economics and Business - Institute for Austrian and International Tax Law

Michael Lang

Vienna University of Economics and Business

Jürgen Lüdicke

PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP - PricewaterhouseCoopers GmbH

Pasquale Pistone

Vienna University of Economics and Business

Stella Raventos-Calvo

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Emmanuel Raingeard de la Blétière

Independent

Isabelle Richelle

Independent

Alexander Rust

Independent

Rupert Shiers

Independent

Date Written: April 1, 2019

Abstract

This article is focused on the Court's decision in Hornbach-Baumarkt (Case C-382/16) (Hornbach) which is an important clarification of the conditional compatibility of arm's length-based domestic transfer pricing legislation with the freedom of establishment. Hornbach follows and confirms the previous doctrine formulated in SGI (Case C-311/08). The decision did not follow Advocate General's approach, which would have denied comparability of domestic and cross-border situations in transfer pricing cases and, hence, prevent scrutiny of domestic transfer pricing legislation under the fundamental freedoms.

The authors welcome the requirement that Member States have to grant taxpayers the opportunity to provide evidence "of any commercial justification" for non-arm's length transactions, with the result that a denial of that opportunity through automatic transfer pricing adjustments would render these incompatible with EU Law. In that context, it is further welcomed that "commercial justifications" may include "economic reasons resulting from its position as a shareholder of the non-resident company". The Hornbach decision, at least in cases of non-arm's length transactions, such as interest-free loans or gratuitous guarantees aimed at replacing equity, clearly suggests that such a shareholder interest in the financial success of the foreign subsidiary may serve as such justification.

Keywords: Taxation, Tax law, European taxation

JEL Classification: K33, K34, F13, E62, D78, E62, F02, F23, F42, H20, H22, H23, H25, H26, H87, O19, O23, O24

Suggested Citation

Pinto Nogueira, João Félix and Garcia Prats, Francisco Alfredo and Haslehner, Werner Christof and Heydt, Volker and Kemmeren, Eric and Kofler, Georg and Lang, Michael and Lüdicke, Jürgen and Pistone, Pasquale and Raventos-Calvo, Stella and Raingeard de la Blétière, Emmanuel and Richelle, Isabelle and Rust, Alexander and Shiers, Rupert, OS ECJ-TF 1/2019 on the ECJ Decision of 31 May 2018 in Hornbach-Baumarkt (Case C-382/16) Concerning the Application of Transfer Pricing Rules to Transactions between Resident and Non-Resident Associated Enterprises (April 1, 2019). European Taxation, vol. 59, n. 9 (2019) , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3644281 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3644281

João Félix Pinto Nogueira (Contact Author)

International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation ( email )

Rietlandpark, 301
Amsterdam, 1019 DW
Netherlands
+31205540100 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.ibfd.org/IBFD-Profiles/Jo-o-F-lix-Pinto-Nogueira

University of Cape Town (UCT) ( email )

Private Bag X3
Rondebosch, Western Cape 7701
South Africa

Werner Christof Haslehner

Universite du Luxembourg ( email )

Luxembourg

Volker Heydt

Independent

Eric Kemmeren

Tilburg University ( email )

Warandelaan 2
Tilburg, Noord-Brabant 5037AB
Netherlands
+31.13.466.8129/2412 (Phone)
+31.13.466.3073 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.tilburguniversity.edu/webwijs/show/kemmeren-3.htm

Fiscal Institute Tilburg ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands
+31.13.466.8129/2412 (Phone)
+31.13.466.3073 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.tilburguniversity.edu/webwijs/show/kemmeren-3.htm

Georg Kofler

Vienna University of Economics and Business - Institute for Austrian and International Tax Law ( email )

Welthandelsplatz 1
Buildind D3
Vienna, VIenna 1020
Austria

Michael Lang

Vienna University of Economics and Business ( email )

Welthandelsplatz 1
Vienna, 1020
Austria

Jürgen Lüdicke

PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP - PricewaterhouseCoopers GmbH ( email )

Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaf
Alsterufer 1
Hamburg, D-20354
Germany

Pasquale Pistone

Vienna University of Economics and Business ( email )

Welthandelsplatz 1
Vienna, Wien 1020
Austria

Stella Raventos-Calvo

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Isabelle Richelle

Independent

Alexander Rust

Independent

Rupert Shiers

Independent

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