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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 30 May 2013

Taxation: Commission refers France to the Court of Justice over discriminatory property tax rules

The European Commission has decided to refer France to the EU's Court of Justice for discriminatory tax rules on new residential property. The French rules allow investments in new residential property in France to benefit from accelerated depreciation, but do not allow the same for similar investments abroad.

The French tax provisions allow accelerated depreciation to be applied to new residential property in France which is intended for letting for a minimum of 9 years. This results in favourable tax treatment for these investments. By contrast, a French taxpayer who invests in residential property to let in another EU Member State cannot benefit from accelerated depreciation, and hence cannot enjoy these tax benefits. In practice this means that taxpayers investing the same amount in immovable goods abroad would face a higher tax liability.

The Commission considers such provisions to be incompatible with the free movement of capital, a fundamental principle of the EU's Single Market.

The referral to the EU Court of Justice is the last step in the infringement procedure.


The Commission had already formally requested France in February 2011 (IP/11/160) to take action to ensure compliance with EU law. However, no amendments have been made to the French legislation so far.

The Commission's case reference number is 2009/4185.

For press releases on infringement cases in the taxation or customs field see

For the latest general information on infringement measures against Member States see:

On the May infringement package decisions: MEMO/13/470

On the general infringement procedure: MEMO/12/12

For more information on infringement procedures:

Contacts :

Emer Traynor (+32 2 292 15 48)

Natasja Bohez Rubiano (+32 2 296 64 70)

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