The first court decision on "beneficial ownership" in Denmark


20-12-2011

A claim for dividend withholding tax in the amount of DKK 1.6 billion against ISS was dismissed

Today the Eastern High Court has rendered the first court ruling in the so-called "beneficial owner" cases.

The Eastern High Court ruled in favour of FS Invest II S.a r.l., Luxembourg. A team of Plesner attorneys headed by Hans Severin Hansen acted as counsel to FS Invest II S.a r.l.

The case concerned a dividend payment made in connection with the purchase of the global facility service group ISS in 2005 (then listed on the Danish stock exchange).

The Danish Ministry of Taxation claimed that ISS Equity A/S had an obligation to withhold dividend taxation in the amount of DKK 1.6 billion when the dividend was paid out in 2005, as the receiving company – according to the Ministry of Taxation – was not the "beneficial owner" of the dividend.

However, the Eastern High Court ruled that the dividend payment was not subject to Danish taxation, and hence that ISS Equity A/S had no obligation to withhold taxes.

For further information about the beneficial owner cases in general we refer to the article "The great hypocrisy - The "beneficial owner" cases" by Hans Severin Hansen.

For further information about this case please contact Attorney-at-Law Hans Severin Hansen or Attorney-at-Law Lasse Esbjerg Christensen.

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