Direct Taxation: Commission opens a new infringement procedure against Greece for failure to comply with a Court judgment concerning taxation of income from inbound dividends
European Commission - IP/10/93 28/01/2010
Brussels, 28 January 2010
The European Commission has decided, under Article 260 of the of the European Union, to open a new infringement procedure against Greece. Despite a 2009 European Court of Justice judgment, Greece has not communicated any changes to its legislation relating to the taxation of income from inbound dividends paid to individuals. If Greece fails to comply with the letter of formal notice, the Commission may refer the case to the Court of Justice a second time, seeking the imposition of a lump sum or penalty payment.
Under Greek law, dividends from non-Greek companies are subject to income taxation in Greece, whereas dividends from domestic companies are exempted from tax.
The Commission referred the case to the European Court of Justice (see IP/07/1019). The Court, in its judgment Commission v. Greece (C-406/07 of 23 April 2009), declared that by applying a tax regime for dividends from abroad that is less favourable than that applied to domestic dividends, the Hellenic Republic has failed to fulfil its obligations under Articles 43 EC and 56 EC and the corresponding articles of the EEA Agreement.
Member States are obliged to take the necessary steps to put an end to the infringement and to inform the Commission accordingly. However, to date the Greek authorities have not formally communicated any amendments to the legislation at issue.
The Commission's case reference number is 2006/4044.
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