China: 京都论法 | "明股实地"中的土地增值税问题

Last Updated: 3 December 2019
Article by King & Capital Law Firm

在对税法的适用及解释上,实质课税原则与税收法定原则一直处于动态博弈中。文本从英国法下的Ramsay原则出发,以"明股实地"问题作为切入点,探讨实践中实质课税原则与税收法定原则的关系及适用。

  在对税法的适用及解释上,实质课税原则与税收法定原则该如何平衡,一直存在很大争议。税收法定原则是指税务机关依照法律、行政法规的规定征收税款,不得违反法律、行政法规的规定开征、停征、多征、少征、提前征收、延缓征收或者摊派税款。与税收法定原则对应的是实质课税原则,根据学者的观点,实质课税原则是指当法律外观与经济实质不一致的时候,根据"实质",而非"形式",判断一行为是否符合课税要素,进而适用税法进行课税。

Ramsay 原则与实质课税原则

  Ramsay原则是英国于上个世纪80年代由IRC v. Ramsay一案确立的原则,被视为合理适用实质课税原则的重要判例。本案中,Ramsay公司为了避免缴纳资本利得税,聘请税务专家设计一项避税计划,该避税计划由两项交易行为构成,两项交易行为分别产生收益及制造损失,其中收益设计为可以免税,损失设计为在计算应纳税所得额时可以抵扣。从法律形式上来看,两项交易相互独立,但从经济实质上来看,两项交易作为一个整体,既无商业合理性,又无经营上的目的,唯一目的就是避税。最终法院认为Ramsay公司的损失不得用于扣除资本收益。Ramsay案确立了一项重要原则,即将一系列交易视为一个整体,如各步交易除了规避纳税责任,既无商业上合理性,又无经营上目的,则该系列交易的税收后果应以经济实质为基础,Ramsay原则的核心内容是实质高于形式的课税原则[1]。

  在大陆法系国家,一般认为实质课税原则(也称经济观察法)起源于第一次世界大战后的德国。彼时,不法商人利用战争发国难财的行为,根据民法应属无效行为,而民法上的无效行为也导致作为民法附随法的税法将这些行为认定无效。行为无效,则导致无法对其征税。鉴于此,德国在1919年通过的《帝国税收通则》中提出了"税法的解释,应考虑其经济意义"的主张。理论上通常认为,该主张被称为税法解释上的经济观察法,它是税法解释上最早主张不拘泥于法律的文字表述,而应考虑税法调整对象的经济关系和相关经济现象的规定。

  无论是英国法下的Ramsay原则,还是德国法确立的实质课税原则或经济观察法,都将交易行为的民商事法律关系性质、法律行为效力等问题,与该行为的税收法律问题进行了分离,即,一项民商事行为,虽然形式上各自有效、相互独立,但是在税收法律关系中,税务机关却有权力依法依实质课税原则解释税法,在税收法律关系中,将一系列民商事法律行为通过"拆分"、"组合"、"重组"等方式,发现其背后的经济实质,对经济实质进行税法适用并课税。

实质课税之下的 "明股实地

  笔者团队几年来,多次处理"明股实地"之类的案件。所谓"明股实地",即从交易双方最终交易目的看,其交易实质系不动产(包括未开发土地、在建工程、商品房等),但出于多种因素考虑,双方交易的标的为"项目公司"股权,而非不动产权。在个别案件中,税务机关以实质课税对该交易在税收法律关系上重新认定,进而对股权交易"课征"土地增值税。

  如基于税收法定原则,《土地增值税暂行条例》及配套《实施细则》明确规定只有发生房地产转让行为才产生土地增值税纳税义务,在股权转让过程中不动产权或土地使用权的权利人并未发生变化,因此股权转让不应属于应税行为。但实务中税务机关并未严格遵照税收法定原则处理此问题,适用实质课税原则的倾向较为明显。

  国税总局曾经通过批复的方式同意某些地方税务机关对"明股实地"行为征收土地增值税。通过以下批复,可以明显看出国税总局更倾向于通过实质课税原则看待具体案例中的股权转让行为:

  《国家税务总局关于以转让股权名义转让房地产行为征收土地增值税问题的批复》(国税函〔2000〕687号)"广西壮族自治区地方税务局:你局《关于以转让股权名义转让房地产行为征收土地增值税问题的请示》(桂地税报〔2000〕32号)收悉。鉴于深圳市能源集团有限公司和深圳能源投资股份有限公司一次性共同转让深圳能源(钦州)实业有限公司100%的股权,且这些以股权形式表现的资产主要是土地使用权、地上建筑物及附着物,经研究,对此应按土地增值税的规定征税。"

  《国家税务总局关于土地增值税相关政策问题的批复》(国税函〔2009〕387号)"广西壮族自治区地方税务局:你局《关于土地增值税相关政策问题的请示》(桂地税报[2009]13号)收悉。鉴于广西玉柴营销有限公司在2007年10月30日将房地产作价入股后,于2007年12月6日、18日办理了房地产过户手续,同月25日即将股权进行了转让,且股权转让金额等同于房地产的评估值。因此,我局认为这一行为实质上是房地产交易行为,应按规定征收土地增值税。"

  《国家税务总局关于天津泰达恒生转让土地使用权土地增值税征缴问题的批复》(国税函〔2011〕415号文)"天津市地方税务局:你局《关于天津泰达恒生转让土地使用权土地增值税征缴问题的请示》(津地税办〔2011〕6号)收悉。经研究,同意你局关于'北京国泰恒生投资有限公司利用股权转让方式让渡土地使用权,实质是房地产交易行为'的认定,应依照《土地增值税暂行条例》的规定,征收土地增值税。"

  通过以下批复或答复可以看出,各地税务主管部门在税收原则的适用方面,基本精神与国税总局保持了一致:

  《安徽省地方税务局关于对股权转让如何征收土地增值税问题的批复》(皖地税政三字〔1996〕367号):"你局《关于省旅游开发中心转让部分股权如何计征土地增值税的请示》(黄地税一字﹝1996﹞第136号)悉。经研究,并请示国家税务总局,现批复如下:据了解,目前股权转让(包括房屋产权和土地使用权转让)情况较为复杂。其中,对投资联营一方由于经营状况等原因而中止联营关系,正常撤资的,其股权转让行为,暂不征收土地增值税;对以转让房地产为盈利目的的股权转让,应按规定征收土地增值税。因此,你局请示中的省旅游开发中心的股权转让,可按上述原则前款进行确定。"

  2013年安徽省地方税务局在网络咨询平台答复:"'国税函〔2000〕687号'专发广西,仅针对特定案例。"

  2012年福建省地方税务局针对税务咨询答复:"国税函[2000]687号文件属个案批复,未抄送我省。按《土地增值税暂行条例》及其实施细则规定,切实属于纯股权转让的原则上不征土地增值税。具体须根据实际运作情况由当地主管地税机关判定。"

  以上述福建省地方税务局(现福建省税务局)的答复为例,税务局没有简单适用税收法定原则得出所有的股权转让行为都不征税的结论,而是倾向于认为不能依据个案批复处理所有情况。通过"由当地主管地税机关判定"可以合理推测,若主管税务机关认定确属"明股实地"行为的,并不排除征缴土地增值税的可能性。

实质课税原则的适用

  从我国的税收立法来看,实质课税原则并未能像税收法定原则一样取得法定基本原则的地位,而是散见于税收实体法和程序法的个别规定中。实务中税收法定原则和实质课税原则一直处于动态博弈的过程中。

  尽管国税总局曾通过个案批复的形式同意采用实质课税原则对"明股实地"行为征收土地增值税,但2010年国家国税总局通过纳税咨询平台明确答复,批复如未抄送其他单位的,仅对主送单位及个人问题具有约束力。2012年国税总局发布的《税收个案批复工作规程(试行)》(国税发〔2012〕14号)贯彻了这一原则,规定税收个案批复是税务机关针对特定税务行政相对人的特定事项如何适用税收法律、法规、规章或规范性文件所做的批复,若税收个案批复明确的事项需要普遍适用的,应制定税收规范性文件。笔者认为,上述批复及规定体现出我国的税收征管工作以税收法定原则为主要原则,而实质课税原则适用于具体问题的考量。

  实质课税原则赋予了税务机关更大的自由裁量权,但实际适用过程中,各地税务机关的标准、尺度、解释、严谨度均不一致且难以统一,带来很大的不确定性。为了实现税收公平的目的,不能无限扩大实质课税原则的适用范围,而是应在税收法定原则的大框架下,维护税收征管秩序,同时不过多干预市场交易行为,推进税收征缴与市场经济的共同发展。

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