Danish supreme court rules against Maersk and TotalEnergies in tax case

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) -Denmark’s supreme court on Wednesday ruled against Maersk and TotalEnergies in a tax case involving the alleged misuse of transfer pricing in the companies’ business in Algeria and Qatar.

The case was filed by the Danish tax authorities saying that Maersk’s oil unit, which it sold to TotalEnergies in 2017, had evaded tax in Denmark between 2006 and 2008.

The tax authority said that Maersk had taken advantage of transfer pricing – prices for goods and services sold between subsidiaries – to alter its taxable income in Denmark.

The supreme court ruled that Maersk and TotalEnergies each owe tax on an additional 1.3 billion Danish crowns ($187.28 million) from the period 2006-2008.

“Although we are surprised by the verdict, it has no financial consequences,” Maersk said in an emailed statement.

To avoid possible interest payments, the company had already included it in previous tax payments before the sale of its Danish oil and gas unit to TotalEnergies, Maersk said.

Last year, the country’s high court ruled in favour of Maersk and TotalEnergies, prompting the tax authorities to appeal to the supreme court.

($1 = 6.9414 Danish crowns)

(Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen; editing by Terje Solsvik, Jason Neely and Tomasz Janowski)