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Steuergestaltung für dänische Unternehmen

Auf unseren Webseiten nach Begriffen-Ländern-Gesetzen suchen:
Benutzerdefinierte Suche

Unsere Kanzlei übernimmt die steuerliche Gestaltung für Unternehmen in Dänemark, auf der Grundlage der dänischen Steuergesetzgebung,Recht der Doppelbesteuerungsabkommen und/oder EU-Mutter-Tochter-Richtlinie, EU-Niederlassungsfreiheit und Rechtsprechung des EuGHs:

-Firmengründungen im Ausland (EU Gesellschaften,DBA-Sachverhalte,Nicht-DBA-Sachverhalte)

-Einbringung die europäische Union, Europa AG,Fusionsrichtlinie

-Gründung von Holdinggesellschaften auf Zypern,Spanien und Schweiz für dänische Unternehmen

Wirkung internationaler Steuergesetze in Dänemark

-Dänemark unterhält mit vielen Ländern ein Doppelbesteuerungsabkommen. Im Anwendungsfall eines DBAs: Das Vorliegen einer steuerlichen Betriebsstätte definiert sich auf der Grundlage 5 DBA, Abschirmwirkung eines DBAs (niedrige Quellensteuer, Verhinderung der doppelten Besteuerung). Im Kontext "Betriebsstättendefinition": Eine Repräsentanz,eine Stätte für Werbung und Marketing, der unabhängige Vertreter oder ein Warenlager einer Auslandsgesellschaft löst in Dänemark keine Betriebsstätte im Sinne aus (also umgekehrt zum Nicht-DBA-Sachverhalt). Im Kontext "Quellensteuer": Abfließende Dividenden aus Dänemark unterliegen der Quellensteuer gemäß jeweiligen DBA (also zwischen 5-15%) und nicht der vollen dänischen Quellensteuer.

-Wirkung der EU-Mutter-Tochter-Richtlinie: Steuerfreie Vereinnahmung der Dividenden zwischen verbundenen Unternehmen in der EU, sofern Beteiligungsschwellenwert erreicht und die verbundenen Unternehmen aktive Geschäfte tätigen und die Haltedauer erkennbar auf mindestens ein Jahr ausgelegt ist.

-Wirkung EU-Fusionsrichtlinie, Einbringung in die Europäische Union, Europa AG

-Wirkung der EU-Niederlassungsfreiheit,Urteile des EuGHs: Nationale Gesetze verstoßen häufig gegen die EU-Niederlassungsfreiheit. Das EuGH hat eine Reihe von Urteilen erlassen,die auch den dänischen Gesetzgeber in seine Schranken verwiesen haben. Im Rahmen einer Firmengründung in der EU, ist also nicht nur das nationale Recht und das DBA-Recht, sondern auch die Rechtsprechung des EuGHs zu beachten. Die Rechtsprechung des EuGHs räumt dabei dem dänischen Unternehmer wesentlich mehr Freiheiten ein.

Gestaltungsmissbrauch nach den dänischen Steuergesetzen

Dänemark kennt hinreichende Gesetze zur Verhinderung des Gestaltungsmissbrauchs. Aus diesem Grunde ist bei einer Firmengründung im Ausland/steuerliche Gestaltung, auf die Einhaltung der entsprechenden Gesetze zu achten. Übergeordnetes Rechtsgut sind die Entscheidungen des EuGHs, insbesondere zur Niederlassungsfreiheit und/oder das Recht der Doppelbesteuerungsabkommen. Im Kontext einer steuerlichen Gestaltung für Unternehmen aus Dänemark, sind daher Firmengründungen in der EU und/oder in Ländern mit Doppelbesteuerungsabkommen zu Dänemark sogenannten Offshore-Konstellationen (Nullsteueroasen,kein DBA mit Dänemark) vorzuziehen. Dieses insbesondere, wenn Dividenden zurück nach Dänemark fließen und/oder sich die die geschäftliche Oberleitung in Wahrheit in Dänemark befindet und/oder im Betriebsstättenland kein in kaufmännischer Weise eingerichteter Geschäftsbetrieb installiert ist. Davon kann abgewichen werden, wenn im Betriebsstättenland eine Produktionsstätte, eine Stätte zur Ausbeutung von Bodenschätzen oder eine Bauausführung länger als 12 Monate Dauer installiert wird.

Davon kann ebenfalls abgewichen werden,wenn der Mandant oder ein Beauftragter seinen gewöhnlichen Aufenthalt in den Offshore-Staat (Nullsteueroase,kein DBA zu Dänemark) verlagert und selbst als Direktor der Gesellschaft auftritt und ein in kaufmännischer Weise eingerichteter Geschäftsbetrieb im Offshore-Staat installiert wird.

Davon kann ergänzend abgewichen werden, wenn es keine erkennbare Verbindung zwischen dem dänischen Unternehmer und der Offshore-Gesellschaft gibt,keine Dividendenausschüttungen zurück nach Dänemark,kein erkennbarer immer widerkehrender Geldfluss zwischen Dänemark und der Offshore- Gesellschaft.

Bis auf einige Ausnahmen ist jedoch -wie oben beschrieben- davon auszugehen, dass- insbesondere bei verbundenen Unternehmen- und/oder erkennbaren "Geldfluss" Dänemark/Ausland"- eine Firmengründung in einem Land mit Doppelbesteuerungsabkommen zu Dänemark und/oder EU, einer Konstellation in einer Nullsteueroase vorzuziehen ist.

Länder mit DBA zu Dänemark, aber Offshore-Status (exempt Companie)

Dänemark unterhält Doppelbesteuerungsabkommen mit Ländern, die neben One-Shore-Gesellschaften auch Offshore-Gesellschaften anbieten, z.B. Singapur. Dabei ist zu beachten, dass die Doppelbesteuerungsabkommen bei Offshore-Gesellschaften (Gesellschaften, die nur außerhalb des Sitzstaates Erträge erwirtschaften und daher von jeglicher Besteuerung ausgenommen sind) keine Wirkung entfalten.

Liste der Länder: DBA mit Dänemark

Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Estonia, the Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Republic of Macedonia, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Moldova, Morocco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, the Philippines, Poland, Rumania, Russia, Serbia and Montenegro, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Tadzhikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, the Ukraine, the USA, Venezuela, Vietnam and Zambia.

Doppelbesteuerungsabkommen mit der ehemaligen Sowjetunion gelten für die GUS-Staaten mit Ausnahme von Kasachstan und Turkmenistan weiter.

DBA-Missbrauchsklauseln

Zunächst kennt auch Dänemark die gängigen DBA-Missbrauchsklauseln. Darüber hinaus hat Dänemark im innerstaatlichen Recht weitere Gesetze installiert, um die Installation einer rechtswidrigen Zwischengesellschaft zu verhindern. Zentrale Faktoren sind der Aktivitätsvorbehalt, das Vorliegen eines in kaufmännischer Weise eingerichteten Geschäftsbetriebes, das Vorliegen von wirtschaftlichen Gründen,die Möglichkeit der Vorlage einer Ansässigkeitsbescheinigung vom Finanzamt im Ausland.

Besonders geeignete Standorte für dänische Unternehmer

Daher sind folgende Länder besonders geeignet:

Steueroasen EU*:
Land Körperschaftssteuer Sonstiges
Portugal: Madeira Sonderzone 2-4 % Schaffung von Arbeitsplätzen als Voraussetzung, komplette Steuerfreiheit bei TypI
Spanien: Kanarische Sonderzone 4% Schaffung von Arbeitsplätzen und Investitionen 50-100.TEuro i.d. ersten zwei Jahren als Voraussetzung
Bulgarien 10% FlatTax
Zypern 10% Holdinggesellschaften steuerfrei, Dividendenausschüttung an Nicht-Zyprioten: 0%, an Zyprioten: 15%
Irland 12,5% Die Non-Resident-Gesellschaft  ist von jeglicher Körperschaftssteuer befreit, allerdings dann Nicht-Wirkung DBA, EU RL
Lettland 15%  
Litauen 15%  
Tschechien 19% Nationales System der Investitionsanreize, Steuererleichterungen bis 10 Jahre unter bestimmten Voraussetzungen
Slowakei 19% FlatTax,Dividenden an natürliche oder jur. Person: 0%
England 19% Bis 300.000 ePfund Ertrag p.a., danach progressiv steigend bis 30%. Gestaltungsmöglichkeit,90% vor Steuern mittels GAFV in ein Offshore-Staat auszuschütten.

*Bedeutet: Wirkung der EU-Niederlassungsfreiheit,Wirkung EU-Mutter-Tochter-Richtlinie (steuerfreie Vereinnahmung der Dividenden),DBA-Sachverhalt.

Steueroasen Nicht-EU, aber DBA-Sachverhalt*:

Land Ertragssteuer Sonstiges
     
Singapur

Neugründungen Singapur:

  • First $100,000: Keine Steuern

  • $100,001 to $300,000 : 8,5% Steuern

  • Thereafter a Flat Rate of 17%

Keine Wirkung DBA bei exempt. Companies
Schweiz Nach Kanton, ca. 15,5% in Zug. Holdinggesellschaften werden nicht besteuert. Domizilgesellschaften nur Bundessteuer, 8,5%.  

*Bedeutet: Nicht-Wirkung EU-Niederlassungsfreiheit,Nicht-Wirkung EU-Mutter-Tochter-Richtlinie,aber DBA-Sachverhalt mit vielen Ländern (Abschirmwirkung des DBAs vorhanden, Verhinderung der Doppelbesteuerung)

Firmengründung im Nicht-DBA-Sachverhalt (Nullsteueroase) und G20 Abkommen

Ausführungen zu dieser Thematik erhalten Sie auf unser Webseite zum Thema G20 Abkommen.

Holdingstandort Dänemark

Besteuerung vereinnahmter Beteiligungserträge der Holding

Schachtelprivileg: Steuerfreistellung für Gewinnausschüttungen inländischer und ausländischer Kapitalgesellschaften an eine dänische Holding, bzw. Mutter-Kapitalgesellschaft. Voraussetzungen:

Die Dividenden erhaltende Kapitalgesellschaft hält mindestens 20% der Anteile an der ausschüttenden Gesellschaft

Die Mindesthaltedauer beträgt 12 Monate

Es wird keine ausreichende Vorbelastung der Dividende im Ausland vorausgesetzt.

Besteuerung der Ausschüttung aus der Holdinggesellschaft

Ausschüttung an Inländer: Quellensteuerbelastung von 19,8%. Keine  Quellensteuer wird bei Ausschüttung an eine inländische Muttergesellschaft erhoben, die eine Beteiligung von mindestens 20% gehalten hat.

Ausschüttung an Ausländer: Wirkung der EU-Mutter-Tochter-Richtlinie, also keine Quellensteuer innerhalb der EU. Dividenden an Mütter in Länder ohne DBA mit Dänemark unterliegen der vollen (nicht rückforderbaren) Quellensteuer von 28%. Im DBA-Fall reduziert sich die Quellensteuer auf 20% bis 0%, je nach DBA.

English:

Denmark has high rates of corporate and personal income tax and has never been considered a financial centre. However changes to its holding company law in 1999 provide outstanding opportunities for the international investor, and subsequent adjustments to the law have if anything increased its attractiveness.

For a country to be an attractive location in which to set up a holding company 4 criteria must be satisfied:

Incoming Dividends: Incoming dividends remitted by the subsidiary to the holding company must either be exempted from or subject to low withholding tax rates in the subsidiary's jurisdiction.

Dividend Income Received: Dividend income received by the holding company from the subsidiary must either be exempted from or subject to low corporate income tax rates in the holding company's jurisdiction.

Capital Gains Tax on Sale of Shares: Profits realized by the holding company on the sale of shares in the subsidiary must either be exempt from or subject to a low rate of capital gains tax in the holding company's jurisdiction.

Outgoing Dividends: Outgoing dividends paid by the holding company to the ultimate parent corporation must either be exempt from or subject to low withholding tax rates in the holding company's jurisdiction.

By these criteria Denmark is a fiscally attractive jurisdiction in which to locate a holding company:

Withholding Taxes on Incoming Dividends

As a member of the EU Denmark is governed by the provisions of the EU's Parent-Subsidiary directive, whose effect is that where a Danish holding company controls at least 15% (10% from January 2009) of the shares of an EU subsidiary for a minimum period of 12 months any dividends remitted by the EU subsidiary to the Danish holding company are free of withholding taxes.

Where the provisions of this directive do not apply (or where anti-avoidance provisions are in place) Danish holding companies can rely on an extensive network of double taxation treaties the effect of which is to obtain a reduction in withholding tax rates on dividends remitted to Denmark from the subsidiary jurisdiction.

Denmark has around 80 double taxation treaties in place. The greater a country's network of double taxation treaties the greater its leverage to reduce withholding taxes on incoming dividends. An elaborate network of double taxation treaties is thus a key factor in the ability of a territory to develop as an attractive holding company jurisdiction.

Most offshore jurisdictions of course do not impose withholding tax on dividends remitted internationally. It follows that almost all dividend income received in Denmark will be free of withholding tax.

Corporate Tax On Dividend Income Received

The Danish corporate income tax rate is 25% (2008). However incoming dividends received by a Danish holding company from its foreign subsidiary are exempt from corporate income tax in Denmark provided the holding company satisfies the following criteria (NB: Bill L99 passed in 2001 introduced changes to the legislation which are incorporated below and had effect from 2002):

  • 15%/10% Shareholding: The Danish holding company must hold a minimum of 20% of the shares in the foreign subsidiary. The required minimum was reduced from 25% to 20% in 2001 and from 20% to 15% in January 2007. It is due to be reduced again to 10% as of January 2009.
  • 12 Month Period: The eligible shareholding must have been held for a minimum continuous period of at least 12 months.
  • Not a Controlled Foreign Corporation: The foreign subsidiary must not be a "CFC". A company is a CFC if it meets the following 2 criteria:
    • 33% of Assets or Income: 33.3% or more its assets are "financial assets" or if it earns at least 33.3% of its income from "financial activities", including net bank interest (it was gross interest until 2001), dividends, royalties, lease premiums and any profits on the sale of financial assets being assets which give rise to these sorts of income. Related tax deductible expenses can be netted off against the other kinds of CFC income in calculating total CFC income.
      As from 2002 income from real estate is no longer included in the definition of financial income. An insurance company or a bank will almost always be a financial company, although CFC waivers can often be obtained for banking and insurance subsidiaries of Danish companies. And:
    • Lower Level of Taxation: The foreign company's income has been subject to tax at less than 75% of the rate of tax as calculated under Danish law (this was administrative practice until 2001 but is now statutory).

For holding companies qualifying under the above rules, at the time of writing Denmark is alone among European countries in not taxing dividends received from offshore jurisdictions. Qualifying dividends received by a Danish holding company from an offshore subsidiary are not subject to corporate income tax irrespective of whether or not tax has been paid in the offshore location on the profits out of which the dividends have been paid.

Prior to 1999 the level of tax paid in the subsidiary jurisdiction was a relevant factor in determining whether Danish corporate income tax was to be levied on the dividends received by a Danish holding company from a foreign subsidiary.

In the seven other principal EU onshore holding company jurisdictions (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the UK) incoming dividends received by an intermediate holding company from a foreign subsidiary are exempt from corporate income tax in the intermediate holding company only if the foreign subsidiary has paid tax in the foreign jurisdiction on the profits out of which the dividends are paid.

Along with Denmark only Switzerland, Malaysia and Australia in the main exempt incoming dividend income from corporate income tax.

Capital Gains Tax on the Sale of Shares

Recently, capital gains tax in Denmark has ranged from 39%-59%, but is usually imposed at a rate of around 25%. However by way of exception capital gains taxes are not levied on any profits realized by a Danish holding company on the sale of its shares in a foreign subsidiary provided the following criteria are satisfied:

  • Shares held for 3 Years: The shares sold must have been held for at least 3 years.
  • Not a Controlled Foreign Corporation: The foreign subsidiary must not be a "CFC". At the time of writing, a company is a CFC if it meets the following 2 criteria:
    • 33% of Assets or Income: 33.3% or more its assets are "financial assets" or if it earns at least 33.3% of its income from "financial activities", including net bank interest (it was gross interest until 2001), dividends, royalties, lease premiums and any profits on the sale of financial assets being assets which give rise to these sorts of income. Related tax deductible expenses can be netted off against the other kinds of CFC income in calculating total CFC income.
      As from 2002 income from real estate is no longer included in the definition of financial income. An insurance company or a bank will almost always be a financial company, although CFC waivers can often be obtained for banking and insurance subsidiaries of Danish companies. And:
    • Lower Level of Taxation: The foreign company's income has been subject to tax at less than 75% of the rate of tax as calculated under Danish law (this was administrative practice until 2001 but is now statutory).

International Comparison: Holding companies incorporated in France and the UK are taxed on any capital gains realized on the profitable sale of shares held in a foreign subsidiary. Holding companies incorporated in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain & Switzerland are not taxed on the capital gains realized on the sale of shares in a foreign subsidiary (provided the appropriate criteria can be met).

Withholding Taxes on Outgoing Dividends

The standard rate of withholding taxes levied in Denmark on outgoing dividends is 15% (reduced from 28% on April 1, 2008), provided that the recipient holds less than 10% of the shares in the distributing company and there is a tax agreement in place between Denmark and the state where the non-resident is located (e.g. a double tax treaty of other administrative agreement). This rate can be reduced by both the provisions of a double taxation treaty and by the provisions of the EU Parent-Subsidiary Directive. Alternatively where the dividends are remitted by an intermediate Danish Holding Company to a foreign parent corporation no withholding taxes are deducted provided that there is a double tax treaty in force between the two countries, and:

  • The foreign parent corporation holds a minimum of 15% of the shares in the intermediate Danish holding company. (N.B. If the shareholding is less than 15% then the double tax treaty rate will apply);
  • The parent corporation is non-resident; and
  • the shares must have been held by the parent corporation for a minimum continuous period of at least 12 months.

Advantages of the Danish Holding Company Regime

The combination of Denmark's tax treaty network (around 80 treaties) and its holding company regime means that there have traditionally been around 35 major countries which with proper structuring could route their dividends through Denmark and not incur any withholding taxes at any stage. These countries include: Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, China, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, India, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and Malta. In about 40 other countries withholding taxes are substantially reduced owing to the double taxation treaty network.

However, most companies can avoid such routing measures since Denmark eliminated its 10% withholding tax on January 1, 1999, in a bid to draw a bigger slice of the billions of corporate cash that moves across Europe's borders. This has proved lucrative for Denmark as corporations have set up hundreds of holding companies in the country.

A number of EU countries (namely Spain, France, Germany Austria & Italy) have imposed anti-abuse legislation in their interpretation of the Parent-Subsidiary directive aimed at European holding companies controlled by third country investors.

However Danish holding companies are well placed to counter this threat owing to the aforementioned extensive double taxation treaty network in place. In many cases, even if the corporate structure envisaged falls foul of parent-subsidiary directive anti-avoidance provisions, the existence of Danish double tax treaties can largely help to avoid this problem.

Features of Danish Holding Company Law

Danish holding companies have the following features:

a) Advance Rulings: Advance tax rulings are available thereby allowing the client to decide on whether the fiscal structure contemplated meets his requirements.

b) Company Taxes: There are no taxes on the issue of shares, on an increase of share capital or on the transfer of shares. Other than corporate income tax there are no further taxes on a company. Provincial taxes and taxes on a company's capital net worth do not exist in Denmark.

c) Extensive Tax Treaty Network: Double taxation treaties are a necessary part of ensuring that the standard rate of withholding tax deducted in a subsidiary's jurisdiction on outgoing dividends is either substantially reduced or completely eliminated altogether.

d) Shelf Companies: Off the shelf companies are available in Denmark. The availability of shelf companies means that an investor can put his plans into operation at once instead of having to wait up to 3 months for the company to be incorporated.

e) Regulatory Environment: Disclosure requirements are strict. This may be seen as a disadvantage or an advantage depending on the client's needs.

Additional (principally tax-related) advantages of establishing a holding company in Denmark include that: dividends are tax exempt regardless of the underlying taxation of the subsidiaries; capital gains are tax exempt after an ownership period of three years; no Danish withholding tax on dividends paid to foreign parent companies in tax treaty countries; no Danish withholding tax on interest paid to foreign companies; and no capital duty on formation and increase of the capital of a holding company.

Danish holding companies have the following characteristics:

  • Loans to Shareholders: companies cannot lend funds to shareholders or directors.
  • Audit: Accounts must be audited and after auditing are lodged in a registry to which the public has access.
  • Minimum Share Capital: The minimum share capital requirement is high being approximately DKK 125,000 (or equivalent in euro, or another currency if permitted) for a private company and DKK 500,000 (or equivalent in euro, or another currency if permitted) for a public company. All the share capital must be fully paid up in cash or in kind before registration. In the event of the contribution being in non-liquid assets an accountant must confirm the value. (N.B. If the value of the holding in the subsidiary exceeds the minimum capital requirements no cash injection is required).
  • Bearer Shares: Private companies cannot issue bearer shares whereas Public companies can.
  • Shareholder Register: There is no public shareholder register unless in the case of a private company which has a single shareholder or in the case of a public company which has a shareholder who has more than 5% of the shares.
  • Directors: A minimum of 3 directors is required for a public limited liability company of which at least 2 must be resident in Denmark. One manager must also be resident there. In the case of a private company neither directors nor managers need be domiciled in Denmark.
  • Cost: Denmark is not a cheap jurisdiction in which to operate. However when one considers the advantages entailed in using the jurisdiction and the potential savings to be made cost may not be such a significant factor.

Comparison of Dutch and Danish Holding Company Regimes

Since Holland has traditionally cornered the market in international holding companies it is useful to compare the relative advantages and disadvantages of both jurisdictions in assessing the impact of the Danish holding company regime:

a) Capital Gains Tax: The Danish holding company is exempt from capital gains taxes on the sale of a shareholding in its subsidiary if it has held the shares for at least 3 years. In Holland the participation exemption (at the time of writing) is 5% with no time limit.

b) Withholding Taxes on Outgoing Dividends: Dividends distributed by a Dutch holding company are subject to a standard dividend withholding tax rate of 15% unless the provisions of the EU Parent-Subsidiary Directive apply or unless the rate is reduced by way of a double taxation treaty. Under the current network of double taxation treaties this rate is reduced to 5% in the case of a few countries, 7.5% in the case of the Dutch Antilles, 10%-15% in the case of most treaty countries and 15% for non-treaty countries.

The current situation in Denmark is that there is exemption from withholding tax for outgoing dividends to countries which have double tax treaties with Denmark, subject to a minimum 15% participation level.

c) Withholding Taxes on Incoming Dividends: Holland has slightly more double taxation treaties than Denmark and so has slightly more leverage in reducing withholding taxes deducted on incoming dividends remitted to a holding company based in its jurisdiction. Denmark is nonetheless in the top 10 worldwide jurisdictions from the point of view of the number of double taxation treaties negotiated.

d) Corporate Income Tax on Dividend Income: Dividend income received by a Danish holding company is exempt from corporate income tax in Denmark provided it has held 15% of the subsidiary shares for 12 months and the subsidiary is not a "Controlled Foreign Corporation". The threshold for the eligible holding is due to be reduced to 10% as of January 2009.

In Denmark, if the subsidiary is a CFC then it must have paid tax at 75% of the Danish rate; in Holland an offshore subsidiary must have paid some tax in its own jurisdiction if the favorable holding company fiscal regime is to apply. Thus income received from subsidiaries located in the Middle East or offshore havens such as Gibraltar in which no tax or low tax is paid may not qualify for the special treatment available under the participation exemption rules.

e) Capital Taxes: Denmark has no taxes on the issue or transfer of shares. In Holland the participation exemption (at the time of writing) is 5% with no time limit.

f) Minimum Participation: In Denmark the preferential fiscal treatment given out to Danish Holding companies only applies if the holding company holds at least 20% of the foreign subsidiary's shares for 12 months. In Holland by contrast the favorable fiscal regime applies if the Dutch holding company holds at least 5% of the foreign subsidiary shares with no time limit applied. (N.B. under the EU Parent-Subsidiary Directive dividends paid to subsidiaries in another EU member state are exempt from withholding tax if the parent holds at least 15% of the subsidiary for a minimum period of 12 months (due to be reduced to 10% as of January 2009).

g) Advance Rulings: Advance rulings in Holland are considerably more effective than those available in Denmark.

h) Withholding Taxes on Royalty Payments: In Denmark 25% (reduced from 30% as of April 1, 2008) withholding taxes are deducted from royalties relating to patents, trademarks or information concerning industrial commercial or scientific expertise whereas royalties relating to copyright, literary, artistic or scientific work are exempt from withholding taxes. In the case of Holland no withholding taxes are deducted for royalty payments made by a Dutch company irrespective of their nature.

i) Withholding taxes on Interest Payments: The Netherlands imposes no withholding taxes on loan interest payments. In Denmark, interest paid to non-residents is subject to a 25% withholding tax (reduced from 30% as of April 1, 2008).

j) Regulatory Environment: Disclosure is comprehensive in Denmark and audits are required for all companies. In Holland by contrast audits are only required for large companies and reporting requirements are much less detailed.

k) Infrastructure: Holland has a well developed infrastructure for the provision of fiscal and related holding company services whereas Denmark is a relative newcomer in this field.

l) Shelf Companies: Shelf companies are available in Denmark but not in Holland. It generally takes 8-14 weeks to incorporate a company. Accordingly shelf companies are much sought after.




 

 

 

 

 
 
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