Language of document :

Judgment of the Court (Fourth Chamber) of 29 March 2012 (reference for a preliminary ruling from the Commissione tributaria centrale, sezione di Bologna - Italy) - Ufficio IVA di Piacenza v Belvedere Costruzioni Srl

(Case C-500/10) 

(Taxation - VAT - Article 4(3) TEU - Sixth Directive - Articles 2 and 22 - Automatic conclusion of proceedings pending before the tax court of third instance)

Language of the case: Italian

Referring court

Commissione tributaria centrale, sezione di Bologna

Parties to the main proceedings

Applicant: Ufficio IVA di Piacenza

Defendant: Belvedere Costruzioni Srl

Re:

Reference for a preliminary ruling - Commissione tributaria centrale, sezione di Bologna - Value added tax - Articles 2 and 22 of Sixth Council Directive 77/388/EEC of 17 May 1977 on the harmonisation of the laws of the Member States relating to turnover taxes - Common system of value added tax: uniform basis of assessment (OJ 1977 L 145, p. 1) - Obligation of Member States to ensure the effective recovery of VAT - National legislation providing for the closure, in certain circumstances, of judicial proceedings in tax matters without any ruling on the substance by the court hearing the case at third instance, the decision of the court of second instance thus becoming res iudicata - Claim that the effect is the abandonment of the recovery of harmonised taxes

Operative part of the judgment

Article 4(3) TEU and Articles 2 and 22 of Sixth Council Directive 77/388/EEC of 17 May 1977 on the harmonisation of the laws of the Member States relating to turnover taxes - Common system of value added tax: uniform basis of assessment must be interpreted as not precluding the application in value added tax matters of an exceptional provision of national law, such as that at issue in the main proceedings, which provides for the automatic conclusion of proceedings pending before the tax court of third instance where those proceedings originate in an application brought at first instance more than 10 years, and in practice more than 14 years, before the date of the entry into force of that provision and the tax authorities have been unsuccessful at first and second instance, the consequence of that automatic conclusion being that the decision of the court of second instance becomes final and binding and the debt claimed by the tax authorities is extinguished.

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1 - OJ C 346, 18.12.2010.