Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Court action [DK]

IPE reports today - lacking some precision - that the European Court of Justice has made an "initial judgement" in a case pertaining to pan-european pensions.

To be reported in fact is an opinion of the Advocate General in the case C-150/04 EU Commission vs. Denmark. While it is certainly true that the Court usually follows the reasoning of the Advocate General, it is wrong to speak of it as an "initial judgement".

Materially, the opinion confirms the Court's earlier positions concerning the tax deductibility of retirement premium payments as stated most prominently in the Danner case. The "somewhat diffuse" justification of coherence of a country's system of taxation continues to be weakened, putting additional stress on Denmark's and Sweden's taxation which is not in line with the EET Principle. However, the opinion heavily relies on Double Taxation Treaties to extend said coherence to other Member States. This is a further indication of the functional importance of as dense a network of DTTs as possible.

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