Tax News Luxembourg

By GT Fiduciaires

1. Employee stock option plans: a new reporting requirement for employers

On 28 December 2015, the director of the Luxembourg tax authorities issued Circular L.I.R. n° 104/2bis relating to employee stock option plans. The new circular merely introduces a new reporting requirement. As from 1 January 2016, employers who intend to set up stock option /warrant plans will have to notify the competent tax office in charge of withholdings on employment income at least two months before the implementation date of the plan. The notification  shall include a copy of the plan rules as well as a list of the beneficiaries of the above-mentioned plan. Furthermore, for all plans set up prior to 1 January 2016, but for which the grant of options /warrants did not yet take place, employers are obliged to also inform the competent tax office in charge of withholdings on employment income at their earliest convenience.

2. Transposition into national law of the amendments to the Parent-Subsidiaries Directive

Article 166 LIR and §9 of the Municipal Business Tax Law have been amended to insert the general anti abuse rule and the anti-hybrid mismatches provision. It should be noted that the application of the general anti-abuse rule should be proportionate and should serve the specific purpose of tackling an arrangement or a series of arrangements that are not put into place for valid commercial reasons which reflect economic reality.

Therefore, dividend payments received by an eligible Luxembourg parent entity from an eligible subsidiary located in another Member State will not be exempt under the participation exemption regime in cases where such revenues are deductible in that Member State.

The benefits of the participation exemption regime will also not apply where the transaction qualifies as an abuse of law following the common anti-abuse rule. Other provisions of article 166 LIR should continue to apply.

Capital gains under the participation exemption regime, as well as net wealth tax aspects, are not impacted by these modifications.

3. Abolition of the minimum corporate income tax

The minimum corporate tax regime, introduced in 2011 and further amended in 2013 and again in 2015, will be abolished as from 2016. Indeed, this regime was always controversial for its potential incompatibility with EU legislation, will now be abolished and replaced by a minimum net wealth tax.

4. Introduction of a new Net Wealth Tax system

The abolition of the minimum corporate income tax will be compensated by the introduction of a new Net Wealth Tax (“NWT”) system consisting of a digressive-two rates system. NWT continues to be levied at a rate of 0.5% on an amount of the so-called unitary value (representing the net asset value of the companies being the taxable basis of NWT) up to and including 500 € million.  The law proposes to amend the provisions of the NWT law by replacing the current minimum taxable NWT (currently 62.5 EUR for joint stock corporations or 25 EUR for limited liability companies) by a minimum annual NWT payable for resident companies as follows:

3.210 EUR if the sum of fixed financial assets, transferable securities, cash and receivables owed to affiliated companies exceeds 90% of their balance-sheet total (holding companies) plus 350,000 EUR; or

For all other companies not being considered “holding companies” as per the above test, the amount of minimum NWT will depend on the balance sheet total at the closing of the preceding financial year. For this purpose seven ranges have been foreseen from a total balance sheet of 350,000 EUR and a minimum NWT liability of 535 EUR through to a balance sheet of more than 30 million EUR with a minimum NWT liability of 32,100 EUR.

The minimum NWT regime also applies to companies applying the tax group regime, whereby the NWT liability of the group is caped at EUR 32,100.

Furthermore, the new NWT regime also will apply to securitization companies, venture capital companies, corporate pension funds, all incorporated under the form of a capital company, and pension savings associations.

Finally, companies still benefit from the possibility to reduce the NWT liability through the creation of a reserve.

5. Termination of the current IP regime

In order to comply with the “modified nexus approach” as agreed at the level of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in the frame of the working group attached to Action 5 of the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS plan) on Countering Harmful Tax Practices More Effectively, the Government has announced the termination of the current IP regime in the Budget law. As a result, should the budget be approved in its current shape, article 50bis of the Income Tax Law will be abolished as from July 1, 2016 and paragraph 60bis of the Valuation Law, which provides for an exemption from NWT for qualifying IP would be abolished as from January 1, 2017. The draft law provides however for a five-year transitional period according to which the current IP regime will continue to apply, until June 30, 2021, to any qualifying intellectual property (IP) that has been created or acquired before July 1, 2016, including improvements made to such IP completed before July 1, 2016.

Finally, the law foresees that the Luxembourg tax authorities will spontaneously exchange information on tax payers benefiting from the current IP Box regime for IPs created or acquired after February 6, 2015.


Published: February 2016 l Photo: Uwe Rieder

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Some links on this Website refer to other websites which have been set up and are operated by third parties. Such links are provided only as a convenience to users. GGI does not control and is not responsible for any of these sites or their content. GGI explicitly disclaims any endorsement or recommendation of and guarantee or liability for such websites of third parties.
This Website is not intended for persons who are subject to a jurisdiction that prohibits the publication of and/or access to this Website (be it because of the nationality, their age, the domicile or for any other reason). If you are affected by such restrictions, you may not access this Website.

GGI data protection policy

This privacy policy describes the collection and use of your personal data made by GGI Geneva Group International AG Zürich as data controller, a joint-stock company incorporated under Swiss law with Swiss company registration number CH-170.3.020.433-0 whose registered offices at Schaffhauserstrasse 550, 8052 Zurich, Switzerland (hereinafter referred to as "GGI"). GGI’s data protection manager is Mr. Marco IZZO, who can be contacted by email at the following address: izzo@ggi.com.

A. Which data does GGI collect?

In the context of your organisation’s membership in GGI (or potential membership) or collaboration or your participation to a GGI event, GGI may collect the following information about you: name, gender, title, date of birth, position, email address, phone number, key competences, practice area, special interests, CV, picture, social media pages (such as your LinkedIn profile), memberships, languages spoken, private, political and business positions, insurances, signature, address, travel arrangement details, accommodation preferences, credit card details, identity card or passport copy, visa information, participation in meetings, participation in optional activities, information about transactions and deals concluded.

GGI may also collect data about your (minor) children when they accompany you to events organised by GGI. In that case, GGI may collect their names, photo, accommodation dates, travel arrangement details, participation in optional activities and their identity card or visa when it is necessary.

This information may qualify as personal data under the applicable legislation (including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) n° 2016/679).

GGI may also collect “special categories” of personal data, such as health condition, allergies and dietary preferences.
The collected personal data are considered useful or even necessary for GGI to provide its services to its members and events’ participants. Some data are mandatory (such as name, e-mail address, picture, address, accommodation dates, participation in meetings, participation in optional activities, your company name: without these data, you will not be able to benefit from GGI’s services. Other data is optional and will allow GGI to provide a better service.

B. Use of personal data

1. Purposes of the processing and legal bases for processing

GGI processes the above-mentioned information for the following purposes:
- Compiling and using general or specific mailing lists for sending newsletters, announcements (e.g. new members) and information emails (e.g. related to a particular conference)
- Listing in the GGI global directory publicly accessible online at www.ggi.com
- Organising and executing GGI activities (e.g. contacting members for participating in GGI projects such as writing articles for the newsletter or publications on social media, matchmaking and networking, organising social events, invoicing)
- Analysis of the activities and the functioning of the GGI organisations (e.g. post-event analysis based on the attendance of the delegates of the various sessions)
- Business development activities related to candidates for GGI membership, potential partnerships and/or collaborations
- Announcements on new members on social media and sharing of members’ articles on social media
- Inclusion in the GGI’s website internal area downloadable Excel files (including the contact details)
- Publication of tombstones related to members’ transactions

Where possible GGI requests your consent for the processing of your personal data. GGI will also ask for your specific consent when it processes sensitive data (e.g. dietary requirements). However, it is not always possible to process your personal data on the basis of your consent. GGI will process your personal data where you act as the contact person or representative of your organisation, for the performance of the contract that GGI has with your organisation (e.g. organisations of meetings, networking or conferences); such processing will serve the legitimate interest of GGI, your organisation and third parties involved. GGI also has a legitimate interest in processing the personal data of representatives or contact persons of prospects on the basis of its legitimate interests, i.e. for promoting GGI’s activities and membership. Similarly, prospects have a legitimate interest in being informed about GGI opportunities. Such processing has a limited impact on your rights and freedoms (as a representatives of your organisation), considering the non-sensitive nature of the data and the limited data processing involved.
Concerning the processing of special categories of data, you have given your explicit consent for such processing.

2. Recipients of personal data

GGI may share your personal data with other GGI members (e.g. for referrals or recommendations or in the context of Practice Group activities).

GGI may share your data with processors and GGI partners, such as genevents GmbH, GGI North America Services Corp., Geneva Group International (Latin America) S.A., Geneva Capital Group AG, Geneva Consulting Group AG, and GCG International AG. GGI will only transfer your data in the pursuit of purposes such as the organisation of events and conferences, networking, matchmaking or business development activities.

GGI may also share your personal data (in particular your name and contact details), when it communicates publicly on the (new) membership of organisations (e.g. for marketing purposes and for the listing in the global rankings). Recipients of your personal data will be organisations such as Association of International Law Firms Network (AILFN), European Group of International Accounting Networks (EGIAN), International Accounting Bulletin (IAB), Accountancy Magazine and Accountancy Age.

Your personal data may also be communicated to the general public when GGI sends newsletters or posts announcements via social media.

3. Transfer outside the European Economic Area

Your data will be processed outside the European Economic Area, i.e. in Switzerland, and transferred to and within the European Economic Area, the United States, Argentina and and Uruguay. These countries have been recognised as providing an adequate level of protection of personal data, by the adoption of an adequacy decision by the European Commission (see
https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/law-topic/data-protection/data-transfers-outside-eu/adequacy-protection-personal-data-non-eu-countries_en).

Your data may also be transferred to Thailand and the United Arab Emirates. Your rights as a data subject are guaranteed on the basis of the standard data protection clauses (as proposed by the European Commission).

4. Retention of your personal data

GGI will process your personal data as long as your data are useful for the listed purposes. In principle, it will store and use your data as long as your organisation is a member or a prospect of GGI and you remain a representative for your organisation. Where the processing is based on consent, GGI will stop processing your data when you withdraw your consent.

5. Your rights as data subjects

In addition to the information contained in this data protection policy, you have the right to access the personal data which GGI processes regarding you. Should the personal data that GGI has regarding you be incorrect or incomplete, you are entitled to have the data rectified.

You have the right to request from GGI the erasure of your personal data, when they are no longer necessary for the listed purposes, when you withdraw your consent or when you object to the processing (if GGI or third parties have no overriding legitimate grounds for the processing), when GGI has unlawfully processed the personal data or when GGI is subject to a legal obligation to erase the data. GGI will honour your request, unless it is subject to a legal obligation requiring it to process your personal data, the processing is done for reasons of public interest (public health), for archiving or statistical purposes and for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.

You are entitled to request the restriction of processing (temporarily) if the accuracy of the personal data is contested, the processing is unlawful and you prefer the restriction of the processing to the erasure of your data, if GGI no longer needs your data except for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims or while it is being verified whether your legitimate interests override GGI’s.

You have the right to object to the processing, when the processing is based on GGI’s or third party’s legitimate interests, on the basis of your particular situation. You also have the right to object when your data are processed for direct marketing purposes by clicking the “unsubscribe” link in the newsletters that you receive.

You are entitled to receive the data concerning you in a structured, machine-readable format that is commonly used and you have the right to have the data transmitted to a controller of your choice (data portability).

You can exercise these rights by sending an e-mail to the data protection manager, Mr. Marco IZZO at izzo@ggi.com.
Should you have a complaint concerning the processing of your personal data, you have the right to lodge a complaint with the competent national supervisory authority.

Cookie Policy

A cookie is a small text file containing data for technical session logging and enabling GGI to store information related to the user's computer and/or device for the duration of the user's use of the Website.

Below you will find specifically the list of cookies used on the website:

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This cookies serve purposes such as measuring interactions with the ads on that domain and preventing the same ads from being shown to you too many times (banner GGI Members).

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GGI has implemented accepted standards of technical measures and security policies that are aimed at protecting the personal data it has under its control from:

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All GGI personnel are required to keep personal information confidential and only authorised persons have access to such information. Please note that the Website contains links to other sites (including sites maintained by Partners) which are not governed by this privacy statement.

Choices

You have several choices regarding your use of the Website. In general, you are not required to submit any personal information when you visit our websites, but GGI may require you to provide certain personal information in order for you to receive additional information about our services and events. If you opt-in for particular services or communications, such as an e-newsletter, you will be able to unsubscribe at any time by following the instructions included in each communication or on the website.

Additional general conditions governing the Privacy Statement

The rejection of any liability and/or responsibility regarding the Website and its content and other terms and/or conditions contained in this Privacy Statement are also applicable to all companies associated or affiliated with GGI, particularly GGI member firms (Partners).

GGI reserves the right to change all and/or any of the regulations mentioned above at any time without any prior announcement. Unless explicitly indicated otherwise, the new regulations shall immediately apply to all information, indications etc. featured on the GGI Website. By continuing to use the GGI Website, you accept all changes of such regulations.

The invalidity or unenforceability in any jurisdiction of any of these terms shall not affect the validity or enforceability of any other of these terms. If any term is held to be invalid or unenforceable it shall be deemed to be amended to the minimum extent required to render such term valid or enforceable, such amendment to be determined by GGI.

The Privacy Statement indicated above shall be governed by and are construed in accordance with Swiss substantive laws (excluding the rules of the conflict of laws) and the courts of Zurich, Switzerland shall have exclusive jurisdiction in any possible dispute.


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