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Lady & Kid A/S v Skatteministeriet (and related appeals)

In 1988 Denmark introduced a business tax known as the ‘arbejdsmarkedsbidrag’.

The ECJ subsequently ruled that this was illegal (Dansk Denkavit v Skatteministeriet ECJ Case C-200/90; [1994] STC 482; [1992] 1 ECR 2217) and several companies claimed reimbursement.

The Danish authorities rejected the claims on the grounds that repayment would lead to ‘unjust enrichment’. Four companies appealed and the case was referred to the ECJ (Lady & Kid A/S v Skatteministeriet (and related appeals) ECJ Case C-398/10).

The ECJ held that ‘the rules of European Union law on recovery of sums wrongly paid must be interpreted to the effect that recovery of sums wrongly paid can give rise to unjust enrichment only when the amounts wrongly paid by a taxpayer under a tax levied in a Member State in breach of European Union law...

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