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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 16 October 2014

Taxation: Belgium before the EU Court of Justice for discriminatory taxation of collective investment undertakings

The European Commission has decided to refer Belgium to the EU Court of Justice for discriminatory taxation of collective investment undertakings (CIUs) established in other Member States of the EU or of the EEA. This discrimination constitutes a barrier to the free movement of financial services and capital in the single market.

Under Belgian legislation, the rate of annual tax on certain CIUs governed by foreign law established in other Member States of the EU or of the EEA is higher than the rate applied to similar CIUs established in Belgium. The CIUs concerned are CIUs governed by foreign law of which one or more sections or classes of securities are collected exclusively from institutional or professional investors acting on their own behalf and whose securities may be purchased only by these investors.

Such a difference in treatment results in a restriction on the free movement of services and capital within the meaning of Articles 56 and 63 TFEU and Articles 36 and 40 of the EEA Agreement to the detriment of foreign CIUs that have made investments in Belgium and their investors.

On 26 September 2013, the Commission sent a reasoned opinion to Belgium on the subject of the annual tax on the CIUs in question (MEMO/13/820), officially asking the Belgian authorities to amend the relevant legislation. As there have been no changes to the legislation, the Commission has decided to bring the matter before the Court of Justice.

Useful links

For press releases on infringement cases in the taxation or customs field see:
http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/common/infringements/infringement_cases/index_en.htm

For the latest general information on infringement measures against Member States see:
http://ec.europa.eu/community_law/index_en.htm

On the October infringement package decisions, see MEMO/14/589

On the general infringement procedure, see MEMO/12/12

Contacts:

Emer Traynor (+32 2 292 15 48)

Franck Arrii (+32 2 297 22 21)

For the public: Europe Direct by phone 00 800 6 7 8 9 10 11 or by email


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