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ECJ verdict on Danner case expected tomorrow

EUROPE- The European Court of Justice is expected to pass judgement on the Danner case tomorrow (Thursday) in a ruling that many champions of pan European pensions believe could help pave the way for European schemes.

The case involves German-born Rolf Dieter Danner and challenges as contrary to an article of the EC Treaty a Finnish law that taxes pension insurance contributions made in Finland to a foreign institution.

Danner’s claim is that Finns wishing to contribute to a scheme outside the country do not receive the same treatment as those paying into domestic schemes.

A verdict in favour of Mr Danner would set a precedent and help counter inconsistent European tax laws that are considered the greatest barrier to companies launching European schemes.

A favourable judgement is not guaranteed although in March the advocate general suggested the Finnish law contravened EU legislation. In practice the advocate’s opinion isn’t legally binding but more often than not the eventual verdict mirrors it.

Danner is the most advanced in a series of test cases. Recently Pepgo, an association of 20 multinational companies, including Swiss Life and construction company Kvaerner, filed a similar complaint to the UK’s Inland Revenue on behalf of an employee at the consultants AMS Management Systems.

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