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European Court Rejects ECB VAT Refund Claim

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

12 December 2005


the European Court of Justice has rejected a claim by the European Central Bank for a EUR44 million Value Added Tax rebate from the German government related to the rental of its premises in Frankfurt.

The ECB had argued that European Community privileges, in addition to its headquarters agreement, supported its claim for the VAT refund from the German authorities.

However, the Court of Justice, which agreed with an opinion published by advocate general Christine Stix-Hackl in September, ruled that the ECB's headquarters agreement didn't entitle the ECB to a refund because the tax wasn't specifically itemized.

The judges added that the obligation to specify refundable taxes in the agreement was designed to protect governments against complex refund claims.


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