German Push Against Cum/Cum Deals May Face Legal Roadblock | 6.12.2017

Our partner Dr. Oliver von Schweinitz was quoted in Bloomberg’s BNA International Tax Monitor on German tax authorities’ future attempts to force German banks to repay tax avoided by foreign entities through dividend-stripping designs.

The so-called Cum/Cum dividend-sharing transactions are a common and arguably legal tax strategy, attorneys say – a non-German taxpayer lends its shares in a German company to a German bank  to avoid withholding tax on a dividend payment, only to transfer the shares back to the beneficial owner after the payment is issued. The transactions stand in contrast to dubious Cum/Ex transactions which allowed market participants to reclaim a withholding tax credit twice on dividend payouts, resulting in billions lost to tax evasion.

On the heels of a parliamentary investigation last year into the scope of Cum/Ex transactions before they were outlawed in 2012, authorities learned of the prevalence of Cum/Cum transactions and began passing legislation and clarifying in the application of previous laws in order to put an end on to those transactions as well, Oliver von Schweinitz, a partner with GGV law firm in Hamburg, told Bloomberg Tax in a Dec. 5 interview.

[…]

And yet another circular from July 17 laid out numerous hypothetical scenarios of Cum/Cum designs and how they can be regulated by the relevant tax authorities, further solidifying German authorities’ crusade to put an end to Cum/Cum transactions, von Schweinitz said.

“I do think from a purely legal point of view that all things were thought of,” he said. “But these deals were so common, and I believe they’re still common in the context of other countries’ rules, so it will take some time for these rules to sink in.”

Snapshot:

  • 85 financial institutions have admitted to participating in the tax avoidance scheme
  • Ultimate decision in hands of courts

 

To read the complete article see attached PDF.

 

Dr. Oliver von Schweinitz  berät Unternehmer und Unternehmen an den Standorten Hamburg und Frankfurt im nationalen und internationalen Steuerrecht sowie im Wirtschafts- und Immobilienrecht.

Spezialgebiete Bankaufsichtsrecht (Trennbankengesetzgebung, Dodd-Frank-Act), Besteuerung von offenen und geschlossenen Fonds, Immobilien- und Immobiliensteuerrecht, Private Equity, Recht des Informationsaustausches (QI, FATCA, CRS), Wirtschafts- und Steuerrecht – auch im Kontext mit US-Recht.

Büro Hamburg, Tel. +49 40 369633-56, schweinitz@gg-v.de