Tom O’Shea on Commission v. Belgium (Investment Companies, C-387/11) Comisión contra Bélgica, Sociedades de Inversión

Tom O’Shea on Commission v. Belgium (Investment Companies, C-387/11) Comisión contra Bélgica, Sociedades de Inversión

Keywords: Foreign Investment Companies, outbound interest – Sociedades de Inversión no residentes, intereses pagados a no

Captura de pantalla 2013-01-20 a la(s) 11.26.03

residentes

Tom O’Shea has published an interesting article on the ECJ Commission v. Belgium (Investment Companies, C-387/11). See “Belgian Taxation of Foreign Investment Companies Successfully Challenged”, en Tax Notes International, 27 May 2013).

According to Tom, “inCommission v. Belgium(‘‘Investment Companies’’) (C-387/11), the European Commission successfully challenged Belgian tax rules that treated nonresident investment companies with no permanent establishment in Belgium less favorably than resident investment companies and nonresident investment companies with a PE in Belgium. The judgment raises an important question concerning the Court’s treatment of the outbound interest payments made by Belgian companies to nonresident investment companies which are treated in the judgment as ‘‘income’’ similar to dividends. This treatment appears to be contrary to the Court’s previous jurisprudence concerning the taxation of such interest payments” (p. 0).

“It is interesting that in support of its conclusion in Commission v. Belgium (‘‘Investment Companies’’), paragraph 49, concerning ‘‘income’’ from a resident company, the Court cites paragraph 56 of Commission v. Germany (‘‘Outbound Dividends’’)(C-284/09) and refers to the case law cited in that paragraph. However, all of the cases referred to in that paragraph concern outbound dividends. Whether the Court meant to develop its jurisprudence in a new direction or whether this is simply an oversight on its part is not clear, but its comments in Commission v. Belgium (‘‘Investment Companies’’), paragraph 79 seem to indicate that an oversight may be a distinct possibility. If Belgium is required to set off the withholding tax against the tax on nonresidents, clearly this would mean that it would be unable to tax income arising from capital in its territory” (p. 4).

Many thanks, dear Tom for your valuable comments.

Tom O’Shea ha publicado un interesante comentario a la STJUE Comisión v. Bélgica en el caso “Sociedades de Inversión (C-387/11) (“Belgian Taxation of Foreign Investment Companies Successfully Challenged”, en Tax Notes International, 27 de mayo de 2013).

En este caso -señala Tom- “la Comisión Europea ha impugnado con éxito las normas tributarias belgas que discriminaban a las sociedades de inversión no residentes sin establecimiento permanente en Bélgica frente a las sociedades residentes o con establecimiento permanente. La sentencia plantea una importante cuestión sobre el Tratamiento de los intereses pagados por las sociedades residentes a las sociedades de inversión no residentes, pues el Tribunal atribuye a tales intereses un tratamiento semejante al de los dividendos. Tal tratamiento parece contradecir la anterior jurisprudencia del Tribunal” (pág. 0).

Sin embargo, a juicio de Tom, es probable que estas afirmaciones se deban simplemente a un defecto de percepción por parte del tribunal, puesto que la actual sentencia se apoya en el párrafo 56 de la Sentencia Comisión v. Alemania, que se refiere claramente al pago de dividendos.

Muchas gracias, querido Tom, por facilitarnos este valioso comentario.

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