European court of justice direct taxation 2010

This study describes the impact of the rulings of the European Court of Justice  (respectively now the Court of Justice of the European Union) on Members States’ direct tax systems. It is the updated version (as of 31 December 2010) of the study PE 404.888 published in 2008. The case-law of the Court is characterized by its continuing development in a changing institutional, political, social and economic context.

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The area of taxation, and in particular the area of international taxation, is also an evolving field, in which conflicting or converging interests between states, or between states and taxpayers, play an important role in the shaping of the applicable national rules, which face new realities due to economic globalization.

Focusing on an analysis of the Court’s judgments, particular attention is also paid to major trends in the implementation of the Court’s case-law by Member States.

Finally, the limits of the so-called ‘negative integration’ through the case-law of the Court are discussed and suggestions are made for possible further European action, notably the adoption of legislative acts in direct tax matters.