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The German Federal Fiscal Court holds that legitimate expectations do not provide a sufficient basis for annulling a decision by the EU Commission on recovery of State aid where the notification obligation has not been complied with and that "time barring" national rules are ineffective due to the primacy of EU law

The Federal Fiscal Court (Bundesfinanzhof) clarified that it was prevented from re-assessing the lawfulness of the Commission decision ordering recovery of aid, and in particular its finding that the relevant tax provisions involve State aid. It ruled that Germany’s obligation to recover unlawful State aid remains unaffected (i) by the alleged retroactive effect of aid recovery, (ii) by the expiry of the statutory limitation period in tax law, and (iii) by the alleged legitimate expectations of the aid beneficiary. Background & facts of the case The Applicant is engaged in greenhouse cultivation. The Defendant, the Main Customs Office (Hauptzollamt), granted the Applicant a tax refund for the years 2001 to 2004 under Section 25 (3a)1, No. 1.4 1993 German Mineral Oil Tax Act

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Authors

  • Gleiss Lutz (Brussels)
  • Jones Day (Brussels)
  • Gleiss Lutz (Brussels)

Quotation

Ulrich Soltész, Philipp Werner, Harald Weiß, The German Federal Fiscal Court holds that legitimate expectations do not provide a sufficient basis for annulling a decision by the EU Commission on recovery of State aid where the notification obligation has not been complied with and that "time barring" national rules are ineffective due to the primacy of EU law, 30 January 2009, e-Competitions Preview, Art. N° 108696

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