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Document 62011CN0074

Case C-74/11: Action brought on 21 February 2011 — European Commission v Republic of Finland

OJ C 113, 9.4.2011, p. 9–9 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)



Official Journal of the European Union

C 113/9

Action brought on 21 February 2011 — European Commission v Republic of Finland

(Case C-74/11)

2011/C 113/18

Language of the case: Finnish


Applicant: European Commission (represented by I. Koskinen and D. Triantafyllou, acting as Agents)

Defendant: Republic of Finland

Form of order sought

declare that, by allowing persons other than taxable persons to join a value added tax group and by limiting the group registration system to providers of finance and insurance services, the Republic of Finland has failed to fulfil its obligations under Articles 9 and 11 of Council Directive 2006/112/EC of 28 November 2006 on the common system of value added tax; (1)

order the Republic of Finland to pay the costs.

Pleas in law and main arguments

Article 11 of Directive 2006/112/EC on the common system of value added tax allows Member States to treat as a single taxable person several persons who, while legally independent, are closely bound to one another by financial, economic and organisational links. Article 9(1) of the directive defines ‘taxable person’ for the purposes of value added tax.

The Commission submits that Directive 2006/112/EC does not allow persons who are not taxable persons to be included in a value added tax group and the rights and obligations of taxable persons thereby to be extended to non-taxable persons. The Finnish legislation which allows the inclusion of non-taxable persons in value added tax groups is therefore in conflict with the directive. The Commission’s interpretation is also consistent with the objective of Article 11 of simplifying administration and preventing abuse.

The group registration laid down in the Finnish legislation is also contrary to Article 11 of Directive 2006/112/EC in so far as the Finnish value added tax legislation limits the scope of group registration to undertakings active in the finance and insurance sector. The Commission submits that the group registration system should be applicable to all undertakings established in a Member State, regardless of the kind of activity the undertaking carries on. The common system of value added tax is a uniform system, and if a special arrangement is brought into use within that system the principle is that the arrangement must be generally applicable. Nothing in the wording of Article 11 of Directive 2006/112/EC indicates that a Member State may limit the application of the value added tax group registration system to certain groups active in certain sectors. Also on the basis of the objective of Article 11, the provision must be interpreted as concerning all undertakings regardless of sector. By limiting group registration to certain groups, the provisions of the Finnish value added tax legislation are also in conflict with the general European Union law principle of equal treatment.

(1)  OJ 2006 L 347, p. 1.