Munich Finance Court: Nuclear Fuel Rod Tax Unconstitutional

The Finance Court in Munich is reported to also having decided that the nuclear fuel rod tax is unconstitutional. According to media reports, RWE AG and E.ON AG filed lawsuit against the tax levied on newly installed rods in their jointly operated nuclear power plant Grundremmingen in June.

In September the Finance Court in Hamburg claimed the unconstitutionality of this tax by pointing out that the Federal government was exceeding its competence as the tax cannot be seen as an excise tax. Furthermore it was seen doubtful whether the Federal government could invent such a tax, which is not provided in the German Constitution. In the claimant’s opinion, the nuclear fuel rod tax also violates fundamental rights as well as law of the European Communities. However, the Finance Court in Hamburg did not sse a need to address these arguments as it had already determined unconstitutionality based on lack of legislative competence.

According to the magazine Spiegel, the Finance Court in Munich followed the argumentation of the Finance Court in Hamburg and decided in favour of the claimants challenging a tax bill of the amount of more than 74 million Euro.

The Munich Finance Court’s decision has not yet publicly released its decision, but indicated that it will make the decision available on October 25.

As apparently both courts allowed an appeal in this legal action before the German Federal Fiscal Court (Bundesfinanzhof – BFH), the BFH may have to pronounce a judgment concerning this tax if an appeal is granted.

Source: Spiegel; Beck-Aktuell

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