Member State in European pensions tax court case

EUROPE – European Commissioner Frits Bolkestein has announced that a number of member states are already facing the possibility of legal action in the European Court of Justice (ECJ), following the publication of last month’s communication on cross-border tax discrimination for supplementary pensions.

At an Invesco European Press Club conference in The Hague, Bolkestein said there were two cases, which could be dealt with by the ECJ.
“ The first is a Finnish case and has been referred to the European court by a Finnish judge. The basis is discrimination against a particular person who wanted to contribute to a non-Finnish pension fund and was not getting the same treatment as if they wanted to contribute to a Finnish scheme.”

He noted that a similar case was also being investigated concerning Denmark.
“ This is still being dealt with by the Commission and has not yet reached the stage of going to the European Court of Justice.”

However, Bolkestein reiterated his desire that such cases could be dealt with on a conciliation basis by the Commission.
“ In pension cases ten per cent are referred to the European court, whereas ninety per cent are settled between the offending member state and the Commission and that of course is our ambition because it is cheaper, faster and more efficient and doesn’t attract so much public attention.”

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