Aktuelle Entwicklung beim Steuerabkommen zwischen Deutschland und Russland: Das Russische Finanzministerium hat mit Schreiben vom 15. Juli 2015 zur steuerlichen Behandlung von Zinsen zwischen verbundenen Unternehmen Stellung genommen. Hier die Erklärung im Wortlaut:
Recently, the Ministry of Finance published Letter No. 03-08-05/40630 issued on 15 July 2015 clarifying the tax treatment of interest income paid by a Russian company to a German company, a related party. According to article 309 of the Tax Code, interest paid by a resident company to a foreign company is subject to withholding tax in Russia. However, the provisions of the applicable tax treaty should also be considered if the recipient of the income is the beneficial owner of the interest and it provides the Russian payer with a certificate of tax residence.
According to article 11(1) of the Germany-Russia Income and Capital Tax Treaty (1996) (Tax Treaty), interest arising in Russia and paid to a resident of Germany is taxable only in Germany if such resident is the beneficial owner of the interest. Therefore, the interest income paid by a Russian company to a German company may be taxed only in Germany, if the German company is the beneficial owner of the interest.
The Ministry of Finance noted that, under article 11(5) of the Tax Treaty, where, by reason of a special relationship between the payer and the beneficial owner of income or between both of them and some other person, the amount of the interest exceeds the amount which would have been agreed upon by the payer and the beneficial owner in the absence of such relationship, the provisions of this article apply only to the latter amount. Consequently, the Ministry of Finance clarified that, pursuant to article 11(1) of the Tax Treaty, the interest income paid by a Russian company to the German company, with which the Russian company has a special relationship, is exempt from withholding tax, provided that the interest corresponds to a fair market price. At the same time, the part of income exceeding the fair market price is subject to withholding tax in Russia. The Ministry of Finance also stated that article 269 of the Tax Code may be used for the purposes of determining whether the interest corresponds to a fair market price.
Deutsche Unternehmen mit verbundenen Unternehmen in Russland sollten die Äußerung des Russischen Finanzministeriums jetzt genau analysieren und möglichen Handlungsbedarf prüfen. Unser Experte Harald Müller steht Ihnen für alle Fragen zu dieser Thematik gerne zur Verfügung.