Capital duty: Commission closes infringement proceeding against Spain
European Commission - IP/07/1021 05/07/2007
Brussels, 5 July 2007
The European Commission has closed the case against Spain over its legislation on Registration fees for the registration of capital increase to the Commercial Register. It considers that the arguments provided by the Spanish authorities show that the registration fees do not amount to a tax. Therefore, the European Commission has closed the case against Spain over its tax rules concerning indirect taxes on the raising of capital (69/335/EEC).
Under Spanish legislation companies have to pay to the Registradores the registration fees for the registration of capital increase in the Commercial Register.
In July 2006, the European Commission had sent a Reasoned Opinion to Spain based on its assessment that these fees were to be considered (at least partially) as taxes not compatible with the Capital Duty Directive (IP/06/962). Following the subsequent explanation by Spain that registration fees are not transferred, not even part of them, to the State or other Regional or Local entity, the Commission has now closed the case, as there is no infringement.
The ECJ had ruled in a similar issue (C-165/03) that the relevant criterion for the categorisation of fees as taxes for the purposes of Directive 69/335 is the transfer to a public budget.
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