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Italy In Hot Water With EC Over Failure To Notify

by Ulrika Lomas, for LawAndTax-News.com, Brussels

22 December 2004


The European Commission announced on Monday that it has decided to refer Italy to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for failing to notify it of national measures implementing Directive 2002/94/EC on mutual assistance for the recovery of tax claims.

The Directive in question lays down detailed rules for implementing certain provisions of earlier legislation on mutual assistance for the recovery of claims relating to various levies, duties, taxes and other measures.

The amendments chiefly concern the information to be supplied to the applicant authority, the notification of addressees of acts and decisions concerning them, the adoption of precautionary measures, and the recovery by the requested authority of claims on behalf of the applicant authority.

Article 30 of the Directive called on member states to bring their legislation into line with the Directive by 30 April 2003 at the latest, and to inform the Commission as soon as they have done so. Because Italy did not inform the Commission of the measures taken to comply with the Directive, the Commission sent the Italian authorities a reasoned opinion under Article 226 of the Treaty, calling on them to take the requisite measures within two months of receipt.

On March 1, 2004 Italy informed the Commission that a bill was being developed, and that it would be notified as soon as the bill was adopted. However, the EC explained that as far as it is aware, having received no communication to suggest otherwise, the bill has still not been adopted.

The Commission has also officially requested Italy to notify it of the national measures taken to implement Directive 2003/96/EC of 27 October 2003 restructuring the Community framework for the taxation of energy products and electricity.

This official request is in the form of a reasoned opinion, the second stage of an infringement proceeding under Article 226 of the Treaty. If Italy fails to bring its legislation into line within two months of receiving the reasoned opinion, the Commission may also bring this case before the ECJ.

TAGS: Italy

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