Opinion Statement ECJ-TF 4/2022 on the ECJ Decision of 22 September 2022 in Case C-538/20, W AG, on the Deductibility of Foreign Final Losses
CFE Tax Advisors Europe 2022
10 Pages Posted: 21 Dec 2022 Last revised: 9 Aug 2023
Date Written: December 8, 2022
The CFE ECJ Task Force acknowledges the different views on the CJEU’s “final loss” doctrine previously established in Lidl Belgium for treaty-exempt permanent establishments, but also notes that the reasoning of that case has been implicitly renounced by the Court in Timac Agro and in W AG. The W AG decision makes it clear that comparability should be examined differently depending on whether the exemption is granted by domestic or tax treaty law. The CFE ECJ Task Force has reservations regarding this distinction. For the taxpayer, exemption has the same economic effects regardless of whether is adopted through domestic law or tax treaty law. Moreover, W AG departs from the Court’s reasoning and thinking in Lidl Belgium, which also concerned Germany and the same rules. Ideally, the Court would have made this explicit. Finally, it remains to be seen if Marks and Spencer is still “good law” or if W AG was one of the final nails in the coffin of the “final loss” doctrine.
Keywords: CJEU, Permanent establishment, domestic law, Tax law, European tax law
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