BT Pension Trustees: possible extension of remedies for breach of EU law

10 February 2017

Originally printed in Tax Journal on 10 February 2017.

The recent opinion of AG Wathelet in BT Pension Trustees (Case C-628/15) provides an interesting and direct answer to the question: what is a taxpayer’s remedy for a breach of EU law where it has not paid any tax at all?

In BT Pension Trustees, Advocate General Wathelet challenges the established dichotomy adopted in the characterisation of claims in breach of EU law. He finds a simpler way to address a claim by an exempt taxpayer seeking a credit denied in breach of EU law than the usual distinction between a claim for the repayment of tax and the more restricted claim for damages to compensate for indirect losses. In his view, the primacy of EU law acts to remove the discriminatory provisions pure and simple.


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