Brussels, 19 February 2009
Finland offers various forms of deductions to persons with unlimited tax liability, who are usually residents, while persons with limited tax liability, who are usually non-residents, are not entitled to such deductions. The fact that non-resident artists and sportsmen are subject to a different set of rules, may in some cases lead them to be taxed more heavily than their resident counterparts.
The difference in treatment between resident and non-resident artists and sportsmen amounts to an obstacle to the freedom to provide services within the meaning of Articles 49 and 50 of the EC Treaty. The effect of the legislation is to make the provision of services less attractive by deterring non-resident artists and sportsmen from offering their services in Finland.
In the Commission's view, the situations of resident and non-resident taxpayers are objectively comparable when it comes to business expenses linked to the artistic or sports activity which generated the taxable income. A difference in treatment therefore constitutes arbitrary discrimination.
The Commission's case reference number is 2008/2115.
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