Commission refers the UK to the European Court of Justice over the taxation of assets abroad – La Comision Europea demanda al Reino Unido ante el Tribunal de Justicia de la Unión Europea por sus normas sobre tributación de activos al extranjero

IP 12/1147

Trending topic: taxation of assets abroad – tributación de activos en el extranjero

“Today [October 24, 2012], the European Commission decided to refer the United Kingdom to the EU Court of Justice (ECJ) for its regime concerning the taxation of transfers of assets abroad. UK legislation provides for a difference in treatment between domestic and cross-border transactions.

If a UK resident invests capital in a UK company, the company will employ the capital to generate income. In this situation, the company will be taxable on the income generated, but the investor will not be taxed until the company makes a distribution to him/her, for example by way of a dividend.

However, if a UK resident invests capital in a company in another Member State, the company is liable to be taxed in that Member State on the income it generates. In this scenario the investor would be subject to UK income tax on that income, even though the income has not been distributed to him/her.

The Commission is of the opinion that this restriction is disproportionate, in the sense that it goes beyond what is reasonably necessary in order to prevent abuse or tax avoidance.

The referral to the Court of Justice is the last step in the infringement procedure.

Background

The UK legislation (Income Tax Act 2007) concerning taxation of transfers of assets abroad provides for a difference in tax treatment between domestic and cross-border transactions and poses a restriction of the freedom of establishment and the free movement of capital which is contrary to EU rules (Articles 49 and 63 of the TFEU and Articles 31 and 40 of the EEA Agreement). In February 2011 the Commission sent a reasoned opinion formally demanding UK authorities to amend this discriminatory tax regime (see IP/11/158).

The Commission’s case reference number is 2009/4130″.

El 24 de octubre de 2012 la Comisión Europea ha decidido demandar al Reino Unido ante el Tribunal de Justicia de la UE por su régimen de tributación de la trasferencia de activos al extranjero. La normativa del Reino Unido establece un trato diferente para las operaciones internas y transfronterizas.

Si un residente en el Reino Unido aporta capital a una sociedad de dicho Estado, la sociedad utilizar dicho capital para obtener renta. En esta situación, la sociedad deberá tributar por la renta obtenida, pero el inversor no será sometido a tributación hasta que la sociedad distribuya beneficios (por ejemplo, en forma de dividendos).

Sin embargo, si un residente en el Reino Unido aporta capital a una sociedad de otro Estado miembro, dicha sociedad deberá tributar en tal estado por la renta que obtenga. Además, el inversor estará sometido al impuesto sobre la renta eel Reino Unido aún en el caso de que la sociedad no distribuya beneficios.

La Comisión considera que esta restricción es desproporcionada, en el sentido de que excede lo que resulta necesariament razonable para prevenir el abuso o la elusión fiscal.

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