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CJEU Joined Cases C-245/19 and C-246/19 / Judgment

État luxembourgeois v B and Others

Policy area:
Taxation
Deciding Body type:
Court of Justice of the European Union
Deciding Body:
Court (Grand Chamber)
Type:
Decision
Decision date:
06/10/2021
ECLI:
ECLI:EU:C:2020:795

Key facts of the case:

References for a preliminary ruling – Directive 2011/16/EU – Administrative cooperation in the field of taxation – Articles 1 and 5 – Decision ordering that information be provided to the competent authority of a Member State, acting in response to a request for exchange of information from the competent authority of another Member State – Person holding the information the production of which is ordered by the competent authority of the first Member State – Taxpayer concerned by the investigation giving rise to the request from the competent authority of the second Member State – Third parties with whom that taxpayer maintains legal, banking, financial or, more broadly, economic relations – Judicial protection – Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union – Article 47 – Right to an effective remedy – Article 52(1) – Limitation – Legal basis – Respect for the essence of the right to an effective remedy – Existence of a remedy enabling the individuals in question to obtain an effective review of all the relevant issues of fact and of law, as well as effective judicial protection of the rights guaranteed to them by EU law – Objective of general interest recognised by the Union – Combating international tax fraud and tax evasion – Proportionality – Whether the information referred to in the information order is ‘foreseeably relevant’ – Judicial review – Scope – Personal, temporal and material factors to be taken into consideration.

Outcome of the case:

On those grounds, the Court (Grand Chamber) hereby rules:

1. Article 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, read in conjunction with Articles 7 and 8 and Article 52(1) thereof, must be interpreted as:

– precluding legislation of a Member State implementing the procedure for the exchange of information on request established by Council Directive 2011/16/EU of 15 February 2011 on administrative cooperation in the field of taxation and repealing Directive 77/799/EEC, as amended by Council Directive 2014/107/EU of 9 December 2014, which prevents a person holding information from bringing an action against a decision by which the competent authority of that Member State orders that person to provide it with that information, with a view to following up on a request for exchange of information made by the competent authority of another Member State, and as

– not precluding such legislation from preventing the taxpayer concerned, in that other Member State, by the investigation giving rise to that request for exchange of information and the third parties concerned by the information in question from bringing actions against that decision.

2. Article 1(1) and Article 5 of Directive 2011/16, as amended by Directive 2014/107, must be interpreted as meaning that a decision by which the competent authority of a Member State orders a person holding information to provide it with that information, with a view to following up on a request for exchange of information made by the competent authority of another Member State, is to be considered, taken together with that request, as concerning information which is not manifestly devoid of any foreseeable relevance where it states the identity of the person holding the information in question, that of the taxpayer concerned by the investigation giving rise to the request for exchange of information, and the period covered by that investigation, and where it relates to contracts, invoices and payments which, although not specifically identified, are defined by criteria relating, first, to the fact that they were concluded or carried out by the person holding the information, secondly, to the fact that they took place during the period covered by that investigation and, thirdly, to their connection with the taxpayer concerned.