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Italy / Court of Cassation / 1440

Public Revenue Agency (Agenzia delle Entrate) v Municipality of Montieri

Policy area:
Deciding Body type:
National Court/Tribunal
Decision date:

Key facts of the case:

The Municipality of Montieri formally required a compensation to the Public Revenue Agency as a reimbursement for the 2009-2012 Government tax on the use of mobile phone devices. The Agency refused the compensation and the Municipality complained against this decision to the Province Tax Commission which recognised the right of the Municipality to the compensation. The Revenue Agency filed a complaint to the Regional Tax Commission which refused the complaint. The Revenue Agency decided to file a complaint against this decision to the Italian Court of Cassation. The refuse of the Revenue Agency to pay the compensation to the Municipality was based on the assumption that the in-force Italian legislative discipline ruling this field – that is the Legislative Decree No. 259 of 1st Agust 2003, “Code of electronic communications” – had eliminated the possibility of Government taxation on the use of mobile phone devices.

Outcome of the case: 

According to the Court of Cassation, the decision of the Italian legislator to impose some sort of taxation on the use of mobile phones devices is compatible with both national legislation and EU legislation concerning free trade and competition. In fact, art. 160 of the above-mentioned Legislative Decree No. 259 of 2003 – which covers both mobile and radio electronic devices – imposes for the provision of such services the need of a formal Ministry’s licence. Moreover, according to the jurisprudence of the EU Court of Justice – and more specifically its decision on the case C-416/14 – the in-force EU legislation ruling this field is not incompatible with national legislative dispositions imposing some sort of taxation on the use of electronic communication devices, such as the one concerning the Government’s licence.