Article by Robin Godman, Senior Tax Adviser with a major international oil group. This article appeared in the January 2005 issue of Tax Adviser. By now the fact that the European Court of Justice can and does uphold the fundamental freedoms enshrined in the European Union treaty is well known. These freedoms require a cross-border element to apply, and the ECJ has shown, after perhaps a somewhat diffident start, that it is willing to take a robust attitude to member states that apply unjustified restrictions or discrimination in these circumstances. The result of the ECJ's increasingly firm approach is that domestic tax laws have to be reformed where discriminatory or restrictive treatments are found. Some of the most significant areas in this regard are where residents and non-residents of member states are treated differently for direct tax purposes. One of the most recent of these is the Manninen
case brought against the Finnish Government by Petri Manninen, who is fully taxable in Finland.
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