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Brussels, 24 November 2010

Taxation: Commission refers Spain to EU Court over discriminatory rules on fiscal representatives

The European Commission has today decided to refer Spain to the EU's Court of Justice over its tax provisions on the appointment of fiscal representatives. The Commission considers that these rules, which require certain non-resident taxpayers to appoint a fiscal representative in Spain, result in discriminatory treatment and are contrary to the freedom to provide services as laid down in Article 56 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFUE). The Commission had sent a reasoned opinion – the second stage of an infringement procedure - to Spain in January 2010 (IP/10/84). As it failed to take steps to comply with EU law, the Commission has today decided to take Spain to the EU's Court of Justice.

Under Spanish law, a number of categories of taxpayers are obliged to appoint a resident tax representative in Spain. These are: foreign pension funds located in another Member State but providing pension schemes in Spain; insurance companies from other Member States operating in Spain; non-resident companies operating in Spain through a permanent establishment; and non-residents who are subject to inheritance and gift tax in Spain.

The Commission considers that the Spanish requirement is discriminatory and that it restricts the freedom to provide services as laid down in Article 56 of the TFUE.

For the press releases issued on infringement proceedings in the area of taxation or customs see:

For the most up-to-date general information on the infringement proceedings initiated against Member States, see:

For more information on EU infringement procedures, see MEMO/10/605

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