Permanent Establishment : With respect to attribution of income and the question of documentation of internal dealings
In 2008 the Committee of Fiscal Affairs of OECD published its report on profit attributable to a permanent establishment. In 2010 article 7 of the OECD model tax convention was reformed, and the report was revised to better conform to the article.
The authorised OECD approach is that a permanent establishment is a separate and independent entity, engaged in the same or similar activities under the same or similar conditions, taking into account the functions performed, assets used and risks assumed by the enterprise through the permanent establishment and through other parts of the enterprise. The approach is built on a two step analysis, the first is a functional and factual analysis and the second is determining the income of the permanent establishment. The authorised OECD approach is that the Transfer Pricing Guidelines should be applied by analogy in transactions between the permanent establishment and the rest of the enterprise.
The Swedish Income Tax Law has the view that the permanent establishment is a separate and independent entity. The Swedish approach is a two step analysis; the basis is the accountings of the enterprise adjusted for internal dealings, and the second step is a functional analysis. The Swedish law does not allow allocation of “free” capital to a permanent establishment, nor does it allow a permanent establishment to deduct royalty payments to other parts of the enterprise. The Swedish provision regarding documentation of transactions between enterprises with economic interest in each other does not apply to permanent establishments.
For reasons of certainty and predictability, the best thing would be for the legislator to reform the Swedish Income Tax Law. Seeing that a permanent establishment is obliged to have its own accounting, the burden and cost of obliging it to document internal dealings would not be that big.
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