The European Commission has decided to refer Spain to the Court of Justice of the European Union to ensure that the Spanish legislation, the Inheritance and Gift Tax legislation of the Territorio Histórico de Bizkaia, complies with EU law.
Under the provisions of the Inheritance and Gift Tax legislation of the Territorios Históricos de Alava y Bizkaia, public debt issued by the local administrations (la Comunidad Autónoma del País Vasco, the Diputaciones Forales or the Entidades Locales Territoriales de los tres Territorios Históricos) benefits from a preferential inheritance tax treatment compared to that applied to other similar titles issued in other EU/EEA States. This difference in tax treatment discriminates against investments in public debt issued by other EU Member States or EEA States.
The Commission sent a request taking the form of a reasoned opinion to Spain on 21 February 2013 (MEMO/13/122). Spain was requested to amend the provisions of the Inheritance and Gift Tax legislation of the Territorios Históricos de Alava y Bizkaia, for failure to comply with the principle of free movement of capital. As only the Territorio Histórico de Alava has amended its legislation, the case is now being referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union in respect of the Territorio Histórico de Bizkaia.
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For press releases on infringement proceedings in the areas of taxation and customs see:
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On the November infringement package decisions, see MEMO/14/2130
For more information on EU infringement procedures, see MEMO/12/12