Rita van Caster and Patrick van Caster v Finanzamt Essen-Süd.

JurisdictionEuropean Union
ECLIECLI:EU:C:2013:757
Date21 November 2013
Celex Number62012CC0326
CourtCourt of Justice (European Union)
Procedure TypeReference for a preliminary ruling
Docket NumberC‑326/12
62012CC0326

OPINION OF ADVOCATE GENERAL

WATHELET

delivered on 21 November 2013 ( 1 )

Case C‑326/12

Rita van Caster,

Patrick van Caster

v

Finanzamt Essen-Süd

(Request for a preliminary ruling from the Finanzgericht Düsseldorf (Germany))

‛Free movement of capital — Taxation of income from investment funds which do not provide investors with a detailed statement of the profits (‘intransparente Fonds’)’

I – Introduction

1.

This reference for a preliminary ruling concerns the compatibility of national provisions such as Paragraphs 5 and 6 of the German Law on Investment Tax (Investmentsteuergesetz, ‘InvStg’) with the provisions of the TFEU on the free movement of capital. According to the national provisions in question, an investor’s income from an investment fund is taxed on a flat-rate basis if the company managing the fund fails to comply with the obligations of transparency and provision of information laid down by that law.

II – The legal context

A – Union law

2.

Article 63(1) TFEU (formerly Article 56(1) EC) states as follows:

‘Within the framework of the provisions set out in this chapter, all restrictions on the movement of capital between Member States and between Member States and third countries shall be prohibited.’

3.

Article 65(3) TFEU (formerly Article 58(3) EC) provides as follows:

‘The measures and procedures referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2 shall not constitute a means of arbitrary discrimination or a disguised restriction on the free movement of capital and payments as defined in Article 63.’

4.

Article 1, entitled ‘General provisions’, of Council Directive 77/799/EEC of 19 December 1977 concerning mutual assistance by the competent authorities of the Member States in the field of direct taxation, ( 2 ) which was applicable at the material time, provided as follows:

‘1. In accordance with the provisions of this Directive the competent authorities of the Member States shall exchange any information that may enable them to effect a correct assessment of taxes on income and on capital.

2. There shall be regarded as taxes on income and on capital, irrespective of the manner in which they are levied, all taxes imposed on total income, on total capital, or on elements of income or of capital, including taxes on gains from the disposal of movable or immovable property, taxes on the amounts of wages or salaries paid by enterprises, as well as taxes on capital appreciation.

…’

5.

Article 2 of Directive 77/799, headed ‘Exchange on request’, provides as follows:

‘1. The competent authority of a Member State may request the competent authority of another Member State to forward the information referred to in Article 1(1) in a particular case. The competent authority of the requested State need not comply with the request if it appears that the competent authority of the State making the request has not exhausted its own usual sources of information, which it could have utilized, according to the circumstances, to obtain the information requested without running the risk of endangering the attainment of the sought after result.

2. For the purpose of forwarding the information referred to in paragraph 1, the competent authority of the requested Member State shall arrange for the conduct of any enquiries necessary to obtain such information.’

6.

Article 11 of the Directive, entitled ‘Applicability of wider-ranging provisions of assistance’, provides as follows:

‘The foregoing provisions shall not impede the fulfilment of any wider obligations to exchange information which might flow from other legal acts.’

B – German law

7.

The Finanzgericht Düsseldorf relies on the following provisions of the InvStG.

8.

Paragraph 5 in the version of 15 December 2003, applicable from 1 January 2004, provides as follows:

‘(Basis of assessment’)

(1) Paragraphs 2 and 4 shall apply only if

1.

for each income distribution in relation to a holding, the investment company informs investors, in the German language, of

(a)

the amount of the distribution (to at least four decimal places),

(b)

the amount of income distributed (to at least four decimal places)

(c)

the sums contained in the distribution, that is to say:

(aa)

the income of the previous years equivalent to a distribution,

(bb)

capital gains on exempt sales within the meaning of the first sentence of Paragraph 2(3), point 1, first sentence,

(cc)

income within the meaning of Paragraph 3, point 40, of the Income Tax Law,

(dd)

income within the meaning of Paragraph 8b(1) of the Corporation Tax Law,

(ee)

capital gains on sales within the meaning of Paragraph 3, point 40, of the Income Tax Law,

(ff)

capital gains on sales within the meaning of Paragraph 8b(2) of the Corporation Tax Law,

(gg)

income within the meaning of the second sentence of Paragraph 2(3), point 1, provided that it is not income from capital within the meaning of Paragraph 20 of the Income Tax Law,

(hh)

capital gains on exempt sales within the meaning of Paragraph 2(3), point 2,

(ii)

income within the meaning of Paragraph 4(1),

(jj)

income within the meaning of Paragraph 4(2), for which there was no deduction under sub-paragraph 4,

(kk)

income within the meaning of Paragraph 4(2) which, by virtue of a double taxation convention, confers a right of set-off against the income or corporation tax of tax deemed to have been paid,

(d)

of the portion of the distribution conferring a right of set-off or repayment of the income tax on the capital within the meaning of

(aa)

Paragraph 7(1) and (2),

(bb)

Paragraph 7(3),

(e)

the amount of income tax on the capital to be set off or repaid within the meaning of

(aa)

Paragraph 7(1) and (2),

(bb)

Paragraph 7(3),

(f)

the amount of foreign tax in respect of income within the meaning of Paragraph 4(2) included in the amounts distributed and

(aa)

imputable pursuant to Paragraph 34c(1) of the Income Tax Law or pursuant to a double taxation convention,

(bb)

deductible pursuant to Paragraph 34c(3) of the Income Tax Law if there was no deduction under Paragraph 4(4),

(cc)

deemed to have been paid pursuant to a double taxation convention.

(g)

the amount of the deduction for depreciation or diminution of substance pursuant to the first sentence of Paragraph 3(3),

(h)

the amount of the reduction in corporation tax claimed by the distributing company under Paragraph 37(3) of the Corporation Tax Law;

2.

the investment company shall send to the investors, in the German language, for the income equivalent to a distribution, the information referred to in point 1 in respect of a holding in an investment, not later than four months after the end of the accounting year in which it is deemed to have been paid;

3.

the investment company shall publish the information referred to in points 1 and 2, together with the annual report within the meaning of Paragraph 45(1) and Paragraph 122(1) and (2) of the Investmentgesetz (Law on Investments), in the electronic bulletin of official announcements; the information must be accompanied by a certificate issued by a person authorised to provide professional assistance pursuant to Paragraph 3 of the Law on the profession of tax adviser (Steuerberatungsgesetz), of an officially recognised audit agency or similar agency, confirming that the information was established in accordance with the rules of German tax law; paragraph 323 of the Commercial Code (Handelsgesetzbuch) shall apply, mutatis mutandis. If the statement of account is not published in the electronic bulletin of official announcements in accordance with the Law on Investments, the reference under which the statement of account is published in the German language must also be given;

4.

the foreign investment company shall calculate and state, together with the redemption price, the total income deemed to have been paid after 31 December 1993 to the holder of units in foreign investments on which tax has not yet been paid;

5.

the foreign investment company shall, at the request of the central federal tax office, provide comprehensive proof to that office within three months of the veracity of the information set out in points 1, 2 and 4. If the certificates are drawn up in a foreign language, a certified translation into German may be required. If the foreign investment company gives information of an incorrect amount, it must take account of the difference in the amount on its own initiative or where so requested by the federal finance office in the notice for the current year.

If the information referred to in point 1(c) or (f) is not available, the income shall be taxed in accordance with the first sentence of Paragraph 2(1), and Paragraph 4 shall not apply’. ( 3 )

9.

Paragraph 6 InvStG, in the version of 15 December 2003, applicable from 1 January 2004, provides as follows:

‘(Taxation in the event of non-notification)

If the requirements of Paragraph 5(1) are not fulfilled, the investor shall be taxed on the distributions of income from units, the interim profit and 70% of the capital gains arising from the difference between the first fixed redemption price in a calendar year and the last...

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6 practice notes
  • Rita van Caster and Patrick van Caster v Finanzamt Essen-Süd.
    • European Union
    • Court of Justice (European Union)
    • 9 Octubre 2014
    ...de los rendimientos procedentes de fondos de inversión que no cumplen con las obligaciones de comunicación y de publicación» En el asunto C‑326/12, que tiene por objeto una petición de decisión prejudicial planteada, con arreglo al artículo 267 TFUE, por el Finanzgericht Düsseldorf (Alemani......
  • Finanzamt Ulm v Ingeborg Wagner-Raith.
    • European Union
    • Court of Justice (European Union)
    • 18 Diciembre 2014
    ...en este sentido, mis conclusiones en el asunto Fonnship y Svenska Transportarbetareförbundet (C‑83/13, EU:C:2014:201), punto 22. ( 16 ) C‑326/12, ( 17 ) Ibidem, apartado 58 y parte dispositiva. ( 18 ) Hasta 2002, las Islas Caimán disfrutaron del estatuto de «British dependent territory» en ......
  • European Commission v Kingdom of Spain.
    • European Union
    • Court of Justice (European Union)
    • 11 Diciembre 2014
    ...de éste y no vayan más allá de lo necesario para alcanzar el objetivo que persiguen (véase, en particular, la sentencia van Caster, C‑326/12, EU:C:2014:2269, apartado 39 y jurisprudencia que allí se 43 Corresponde a las autoridades nacionales, al adoptar una medida que supone una excepción ......
  • Finanzamt Dortmund-Unna v Josef Grünewald.
    • European Union
    • Court of Justice (European Union)
    • 18 Noviembre 2014
    ...( 46 ) JO L 64, p. 1. ( 47 ) Voir, en ce sens, également arrêts Centro Equestre da Lezíria Grande (EU:C:2007:96, point 36) et van Caster (C‑326/12, EU:C:2014:2269, point ( 48 ) Voir, entre autres, arrêt DMC (C‑164/12, EU:C:2014:20, point 44 et jurisprudence citée). ( 49 ) EU:C:2011:198, poi......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
6 cases
  • Rita van Caster and Patrick van Caster v Finanzamt Essen-Süd.
    • European Union
    • Court of Justice (European Union)
    • 9 Octubre 2014
    ...de los rendimientos procedentes de fondos de inversión que no cumplen con las obligaciones de comunicación y de publicación» En el asunto C‑326/12, que tiene por objeto una petición de decisión prejudicial planteada, con arreglo al artículo 267 TFUE, por el Finanzgericht Düsseldorf (Alemani......
  • Finanzamt Ulm v Ingeborg Wagner-Raith.
    • European Union
    • Court of Justice (European Union)
    • 18 Diciembre 2014
    ...en este sentido, mis conclusiones en el asunto Fonnship y Svenska Transportarbetareförbundet (C‑83/13, EU:C:2014:201), punto 22. ( 16 ) C‑326/12, ( 17 ) Ibidem, apartado 58 y parte dispositiva. ( 18 ) Hasta 2002, las Islas Caimán disfrutaron del estatuto de «British dependent territory» en ......
  • European Commission v Kingdom of Spain.
    • European Union
    • Court of Justice (European Union)
    • 11 Diciembre 2014
    ...de éste y no vayan más allá de lo necesario para alcanzar el objetivo que persiguen (véase, en particular, la sentencia van Caster, C‑326/12, EU:C:2014:2269, apartado 39 y jurisprudencia que allí se 43 Corresponde a las autoridades nacionales, al adoptar una medida que supone una excepción ......
  • Finanzamt Dortmund-Unna v Josef Grünewald.
    • European Union
    • Court of Justice (European Union)
    • 18 Noviembre 2014
    ...( 46 ) JO L 64, p. 1. ( 47 ) Voir, en ce sens, également arrêts Centro Equestre da Lezíria Grande (EU:C:2007:96, point 36) et van Caster (C‑326/12, EU:C:2014:2269, point ( 48 ) Voir, entre autres, arrêt DMC (C‑164/12, EU:C:2014:20, point 44 et jurisprudence citée). ( 49 ) EU:C:2011:198, poi......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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