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Commission eyes more legal moves on pension tax

EUROPE – The European Commission has signalled that it may take further proceedings against European Union member states over pension taxation.

“The Commission continues its examination of national laws and more infringement proceedings may follow,” the Commission said.

The Commission says it is treating pension taxation as a top priority. “The elimination of tax obstacles to the cross-border provision of occupational pensions a priority for the Commission,” it adds.

The Commission launched legal proceedings against Denmark in February this year – in the form of a “reasoned opinion” – asking it to change its tax legislation. And it has also opened infringement proceedings against Belgium, Spain, France, Italy and Portugal.

As a result of the high-profile Danner case last year, Finland’s rules were already found to be in breach of EU law. The Commission also says that Swedish pension tax laws are currently being examined by the European Court of Justice on the basis of a “request for preliminary ruling” – the Skandia/Ramstedt case.

“Many member states deny equal treatment to foreign pension funds: pension contributions paid to domestic fund are tax deductible, contributions paid to foreign funds are not,” it says.

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