Har Sverige ett konkurrenskraftigt bolagsskattesystem? - En komparativ studie i ljuset av koncernbeskattning och ränteavdrag efter implementeringen av Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive
Sammanfattning: Previously Sweden has had a generous consolidation system for groups with large deduction possibilities. However, the possibility of interest deductions, among other things, has increasingly been limited due to more important societal interests, such as preventing tax evasion and tax avoidance practices. As a result, new general interest limitation rules were put into practice in 2019 affecting legal entities that are subject to corporate taxation. The rules were introduced through an implementation of the EU Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive (ATAD). The EU directive limits the deductibility for exceeding borrowing costs and affects groups, among others. The deduction limitation is based on EBITDA performance measures and is limited to a maximum deduction of the exceeding borrowing costs of 30 % of the calculated EBITDA. As ATAD statues a minimum level of protection, Member States, when implementing the directive, are allowed to form stricter rules than the directive statues. The general interest deduction rules cooperate with a consolidation system, i.e. profit equalization opportunities for groups, within a corporate tax system. The equalization possibilities affect the tax base, which may allow for larger interest deductions concerning the interest limitations rules stipulated in article 4 of ATAD. The interaction between the regulations will be decisive of the interest limitation rules effect regarding tax consequences for multinational companies. Depending on how Member States have chosen to implement ATAD and depending on the construction of the Member States’ group consolidation system, it may result in a corporate tax system being perceived as competitive. In a special study, “Våra skatter”, authorized by the Swedish Government and carried out by experts in tax and finance, concluded that profitability after corporate taxation is a factor that determines where multinational companies place capital and investments. A competitive corporate tax system that generates tax advantages can attract the establishment of multinational companies. By examining the effects caused by tax legislation for multinational companies referring to the consolidation system, in the light of the implementation of the interest limitation rules, it is possible to investigate whether Sweden has a competitive corporate tax system. Through a comparison with Denmark, it is possible to showcase the advantages and disadvantages of the Swedish corporate tax system. The comparison also highlights differences in the implementation of ATAD. The Swedish consolidation system is complex and often leads to a less favorable outcome for multinational companies due to higher taxation. Besides, Sweden has two interest limitation systems that apply in parallel. However, when calculating the deduction margin Sweden apply the EBITDA method which may result in higher deductions. Yet, Sweden has chosen a stricter legislation for interest limitation deduction rules, in a comparison to Denmark in some aspects. Mainly when it comes to the implantation of a so called “Safe Harbor” rule. The directive provided for Member States to allow a “Safe Harbor” rule where a fixed amount can be deducted for the exceeding borrowing costs instead of calculating a deduction margin according to EBITDA. The directive stipulates a maximum amount of EUR 3 million, equivalent to approximately SEK 30 million. Sweden decided to lower the amount to SEK 5 million when implementing the “Safe Harbor” rule, whereas Denmark chose the highest amount allowed. In conclusion, after implementing the interest limitation rules Sweden does not have an equally competitive corporate tax system compared to Denmark. Thus, Sweden has a poorer ability to attract establishments of multinational companies.
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