Tax and duties

Tax and duty disputes require dependable, inquisitive and committed lawyers


TEAM WORK

Tax law issues are not resolved in a vacuum, and often require interdisciplinary teams. Thommessen’s expertise on all aspects of commercial law enables us to put together teams that will handle all relevant aspects of the case in a confidence-inspiring manner before the courts. One example of this is the SIPE V Case regarding the interpretation of the term "securities funds" in the tax exemption provision for such entities in the Taxation Act, which required both tax issues and financial regulation issues to be addressed before multiple courts.

Tax law issues are not resolved in a vacuum, and often require interdisciplinary teams. Thommessen’s expertise on all aspects of commercial law enables us to put together teams that will handle all relevant aspects of the case in a convincing manner before the courts. One example of this is the SIPE V Case regarding the interpretation of the term "securities funds" in the tax exemption provision for such entities in the Norwegian Act, which required both tax issues and financial regulation issues to be addressed before multiple courts.

Tax disputes

Thommessen has a long tradition of, and extensive experience in, assisting taxpayers in disputes with the tax authorities. A number of our lawyers litigate tax disputes before the courts on a regular basis, including landmark cases before the Supreme Court. Several of these cases have commanded considerable international attention, such as for example the Dell Case regarding limitation of Norway’s right under a tax treaty to tax income in a cross-border commissionaire structure, and the Odfjell Drilling Case regarding the scope of tax liability in Norway on charter income relating to a drilling rig on the Norwegian continental shelf.

Duty disputes

The tax authorities have in the last couple of decades increased their focus on indirect tax, and a large number of cases relating to indirect tax have been brought before the courts. Thommessen has developed a unique expertise in this regard and has pleaded numerous cases relating to indirect tax. Relevant examples are the Telenor Case regarding the deductibility of VAT on transaction costs and the ODV Case regarding the prerequisites for voluntary VAT registration for landlords. Thommessen’s expertise on indirect tax also encompasses customs and excise duties, and we have in recent years assisted taxpayers in a number of such cases before the courts. Examples of this are the Fleury Michon Case regarding the tariff classification of composite products and the K-LAB Case regarding the scope of the electricity consumption tax exemption provisions.

Our philosophy is to assist the taxpayer at every stage of any dispute with the tax authorities, from a notice of intended tax assessment modification to a hearing before the Supreme Court. We are the taxpayer’s representative in tax disputes, and our tax litigation experience also makes us better tax advisors. One would rarely seek a dispute with the tax authorities, but we will stand shoulder to shoulder with the taxpayer at every stage if it happens.

BENCHMARK CASES


Storebrand International Private Equity V Ltd.

Thommessen assisted Storebrand in litigation against the Norwegian State in relation to whether a non-Norwegian registered fund could be considered a securities fund within the meaning of the tax exemption provision in Section of 10-31 (3) of the Taxation Act.

Dell Products

Thommessen assisted Dell in litigation against the Norwegian State in relation to whether Dell Products (Ireland) could be taxed in Norway as the result of a commissionaire structure.

Fleury Michon

Thommessen assisted Fleury Michon in a dispute with the Norwegian State in relation to the correct tariff classification of composite products.

The team

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Finn Backer-Grøndahl

// PARTNER

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Bjørn Christian Lilletvedt Tovsen

// PARTNER

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Ståle R. Kristiansen

// PARTNER

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Svein Aage Valen

// PARTNER

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Hilde Mæhlum Bjerkestuen

// SENIOR ASSOCIATE

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Petter Aasrum Bjørklund

// MANAGING ASSOCIATE

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Thale Kristine Fannemel Espeli

// SENIOR ASSOCIATE