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  • Service: Tax, International Tax
  • Type: Regulatory update
  • Date: 11/22/2013

Netherlands - No refund of withholding tax for Finnish entity 

November 22:  The Supreme Court of the Netherlands (Hoge Raad) in a November 2013 decision concluded that a Finnish investment fund was not entitled to a refund of withholding tax on dividends distributed to it by companies in the Netherlands, despite the fact that the Finnish investment fund was not able to claim a credit in Finland for the withholding tax on the dividend distributions.

Background

A Finnish investment fund did not have “legal personality” in Finland, and thus was not subject to tax on profit in Finland.


In 2008, the Finnish investment fund received dividends on shares that it held in companies that were residents of the Netherlands. The Dutch withholding tax on dividends was applied at a rate of 15%.


Because the Finnish investment fund was not able to claim a tax credit for this dividend withholding tax in Finland, it filed a request with the Dutch tax authorities for a full refund of the dividends withholding tax. When the refund claim was rejected, the investment fund initiated judicial action for a refund of the tax.

Supreme Court’s judgment

The Supreme Court of the Netherlands found that the Finnish investment fund was not comparable to a Dutch resident company that would have been entitled to a refund of the withholding tax on dividends.


Therefore, the Supreme Court concluded that the Finnish investment fund had not been discriminated against and was not entitled to a refund of the withholding tax imposed in the Netherlands on the dividend payments.


Read a November 2013 report prepared by the KPMG member firm in the Netherlands: Supreme Court rules against Finnish investment fund: no refund of withheld dividend withholding tax




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