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Law and Responsible Business
19 Sep 2018 We enter into cooperation with Finnish Business & Society ry (FIBS) to help to build better businesses and sustainable solutions. As of the beginning of 2019, FIBS is launching a programme producing corporate responsibility training and events in collaboration with selected expert organisations specialising in different responsibility themes within the framework of the new FIBS Partner programme. As a part of the FIBS Partner programme, we offer training for FIBS members aiming to provide practical information for monitoring legal developments relating to corporate responsibility. Corporate responsibility is an integral part of the insightful legal advice we provide to our clients. Corporate responsibility and sustainable business models will be our key themes during our 120th anniversary year 2019. "This is an exciting opportunity, fully aligned with our strategy and values. Corporate responsibility is a strategic question for all – and a legal perspective is necessary in finding practical and valuable solutions that make a real difference in building responsible business", says Partner Hanna-Mari Manninen. "We look forward to co-operation with our new partners, who are all top experts in their fields. We are pleased to have Dittmar & Indrenius on board as our partner who brings in the legal insights to corporate responsibility. Co-operation with our partners is an important opportunity for us to accelerate the growth of sustainable business in Finland", says Helena Kekki, Manager of FIBS's membership services. "Co-operation with FIBS signals our will to meet the future challenges of our clients in the constantly evolving business environment. D&I's Powerhouse model providing the clients with comprehensive, sustainable solutions for their business needs will play an instrumental role when providing services within the FIBS Partner programme", says Partner Kari Lautjärvi. Further information: Hanna-Mari Manninen, Partner, Head of Corporate Advisory, Compliance & CSR, tel. +358 40 717 7494, [email protected] Kari Lautjärvi, Partner, tel. +358 9 6817 0102, [email protected] Katja Hollmén, Director of Client Relations, tel. +358 50 573 7396, [email protected]   Dittmar & Indrenius, established in 1899, is a leading Finnish law firm focused on creating exceptional added value to demanding corporate clients. FIBS helps companies to do better business. It offers information about new, innovative ways of developing responsible business and a unique opportunity to network with companies from different fields as well as other social actors. The FIBS network includes over 320 companies and organisations.
Draft Government Proposal on International Tax Dispute Resolution Mechanisms
29 Aug 2018 The Ministry of Finance of Finland has issued a draft government proposal on international tax dispute resolution mechanisms on 27 August 2018. The draft proposal implements the Directive on Tax Dispute Resolution Mechanisms in the European Union (2017/1852, the "Directive"). In addition, the proposed new legislation addresses certain other tax dispute resolution mechanisms related to the interpretation of tax treaties. The aim of the new legislation is to enhance the resolving of international tax disputes and to avoid double taxation in cross-border context. Summary of the Proposed Tax Dispute Resolution Mechanisms The following table illustrates the main changes to the current processes and contents of the draft proposal on a high level.   Timing of the Legislative Process The draft proposal is currently under public consultation. The contents of the proposal are therefore subject to change. The new legislation is proposed to apply to applications filed on 1 July 2019 or thereafter which concern tax years started on 1 January 2018 or later. However, part of the new legislation, such as the obligation to choose between the tax dispute resolution mechanisms and the domestic appeal process, is applicable to all applications filed on 1 July 2019 or thereafter. Reflections on the Draft Government Proposal Many of the proposed changes provide long-awaited procedural rules for tax disputes relating to the interpretation of tax treaties. Currently, most of the relevant procedural provisions are outdated and not explicitly applicable to international tax dispute resolution processes. Implementation of the Directive provides more effective means for taxpayers to eliminate double taxation between EU countries since the threat of binding arbitration can be expected to encourage the competent authorities to negotiate, and ultimately double taxation should be eliminated through arbitration. This type of process is currently only applied in transfer pricing disputes involving EU countries. The draft proposal also includes certain changes to the current processes which can in many cases limit the taxpayers' legal remedies. The taxpayers would in practice need to choose whether to refer the case to a tax dispute resolution process under the proposed legislation or the domestic appeal process. This would increase the importance of the strategic decisions taken during a tax audit phase regarding potentially threatening cross-border tax disputes. Since this provision is proposed to apply to all applications filed on 1 July 2019 or thereafter, regardless of the tax year the application covers, the draft proposal may have great relevance in many of the cross-border tax disputes pending today. One aspect which the draft proposal seems to ignore is the extension of the suspension of tax enforcement to the tax dispute resolution processes under the proposed legislation. Currently, it is possible to request the temporary postponement of the payment of taxes only during domestic appeal processes. If this discrepancy is not fixed, it may render the use of tax dispute resolution mechanisms a less attractive alternative in many cases. We are happy to discuss the implications of the proposed legislation in concrete situations as well as keep you updated on the legislative process.

Dittmar & Indrenius