- According to the double tax treaty in place between Luxembourg and Finland, the dividends received by LuxCo on shares held in the framework of unit-linked life insurances are subject to 15% WHT levied in Finland. The same situation applies when the recipient is a Finnish life insurance company, however in this case a tax deduction reacting on the bases of the technical reserves is granted. It can be inferred that the Finnish company is practically tax exempt by considering the unit-linked product internal correlation as follow:
- Income received (dividend and taxable income)
- Future liability for payments to policy holders (generates a tax deduction based on technical reserves)
The SAC concluded that the complementary nature of the technical reserves and the dividend income was comparable to the deductions granted to pension funds on their future liabilities. In conclusion, the SAC determined that the link between the unit-linked products offered by LuxCo and (those from) FinCo is plausible; therefore, both products have similar characteristics.
- On the other hand, the EU commission is stressing on terminating discriminatory taxation of dutch sourced dividends:
No taxes are levied for dutch life insurance companies on dividends received from shares held in a structure of unit-linked products. These entities can deduct the received dividends against the outbound flows entitled to policyholders. However, a WHT is applied to dividends sourced in the Netherlands with beneficial owner incorporated (resident) in the (a) EU/EEA country and in addition there is no credit possibility.
It can be drawn from the above that in both cases the freedom of capital movement is breached, this leads to significant chances to recover WHT impacting life insurance companies.
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Stanislas Conte, CEO of Globe Refund.