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Modehuis A Zwijnenburg BV v Staatssecretaris van Financiën

International

In Modehuis A Zwijnenburg BV v Staatssecretaris van Financiën (ECJ Case C-352/08) the ECJ held that Article 11(1)(a) of Directive 90/434/EEC ‘is to be interpreted as meaning that the favourable arrangements which that directive introduces may not be withheld from a taxpayer who has sought by way of a legal stratagem involving a company merger to avoid the levying of a tax such as that at issue in the main proceedings namely transaction tax where that tax does not come within the scope of application of that directive’.

Why it matters: This is an interesting victory for the taxpayer and a defeat for the Netherlands tax authorities. The ECJ held that a company could not be denied the benefit of Directive 90/434/EEC simply on the grounds that it was trying to avoid a different national tax.

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