ECJ tide flows in governments’ favour again

Companies seeking to reclaim tax credits in the advanced corporation tax
class IV case have had their claims decisively rejected by an opinion of the
European court.

In a wide-ranging opinion, which will not necessarily be final until the
court gives its view, advocate general Leendeert Geelhoed suggested that
companies need not receive ‘equal’ treatment in the case, only ‘fair’ treatment.

Geelhoed, who observers have noted could have a crucial impact in several of
the group litigation order cases going through the ECJ, said that this was an
area ‘where predictability and legal certainty are crucially important, so that
member states can plan their budget and design their corporate tax systems on
the basis of relatively reliable revenue predictions.’

Bill Dodwell, tax partner at Deloitte, said: ‘This is another welcome opinion
for EU governments. It follows the trend over the last year, where few claimants
have succeeded winning large tax refunds. This opinion was largely expected
…… The claimants’ argument that full tax credits were due was breathtakingly

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