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date: 22 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter traces the evolution of the Court’s approach in applying the fundamental freedoms to direct tax rules, as illustrated by the most important lines of cases. The author argues that, although this area remains a particularly challenging one for the Court, the case law has now reached a level of maturity and generally strikes a proper balance between the EU and national fiscal interests; nevertheless the Court has been overly cautious and dogmatic in certain respects, in particular by not obliging Member States to address the problem of juridical double taxation by granting immunity to provisions included in bilateral tax treaties that would otherwise be unlawful, and by permitting states to circumvent the rules on discriminatory source taxation by integrating shareholder and corporate taxation. Ultimately, however, action by the legislator would be required to resolve all the problems for the single market posed by national direct tax rules.

Keywords: bilateral tax treaties, corporate taxation, direct tax, double taxation, fundamental freedoms, national fiscal interests, shareholder, source taxation

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