TaxCorporate TaxBosal case may open floodgates

Bosal case may open floodgates

A decision handed down last week by the European Court of Justice in favour of Dutch engineering company Bosal Holdings could lead to hundreds of millions of pounds worth of losses for the UK Treasury.

Link: ECJ ruling could be windfall for UK multinationals

The ECJ ruling confirmed that a parent company that invests in a foreign subsidiary cannot be treated less favourably than one that invests in a domestic subsidiary.

The principles of the case are very similar to the Marks & Spencer loss relief case, which Accountancy Age exclusively revealed last November.

‘We have definitely been watching the case with interest,’ a spokeswoman for M&S said this week. ‘We do see a lot of similarities.’

The M&S case is due to be heard by the ECJ in late 2004. Should it win – which seems almost certain – a group litigation order involving more than 40 companies may prevail too.

Anton Hume, international tax partner at Grant Thornton, said that the Bosal case was ‘arguably the most important ECJ case we have seen for a decade’.

A statement issued by the Inland Revenue claimed that the UK did not have any legislation similar to the Dutch legislation considered by the ECJ in this case.

‘However, we will be studying the judgment to determine whether there are any wider implications of the decision,’ it said.

Email David_Rae@vnu.co.uk.

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