Language of document :

Action brought on 1 February 2021 – European Commission v Kingdom of Belgium

(Case C-60/21)

Language of the case: French


Applicant: European Commission (represented by: W. Roels, V. Uher, acting as Agents)

Defendant: Kingdom of Belgium

Form of order sought

The Commission claims that the Court should:

Declare that, by maintaining provisions that:

by refusing the deduction of maintenance annuities or capital sums in lieu of such annuities and supplementary annuities from taxable income to debenture holders who are not resident in Belgium and who receive less than 75% of their professional income there and who cannot benefit from the same deduction in their Member State of residence on the basis of the small amount of their taxable income in that State,

the Kingdom of Belgium has failed to fulfil its obligations under Article 45 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and Article 28 of the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA), and

Order the Kingdom of Belgium to pay the costs.

Pleas in law and main arguments

In support of its action, the Commission relies on a single plea in law alleging that the legislation at issue is liable to deter non-resident taxpayers from exercising the freedoms of movement ensured by the Treaties and, more particularly, the freedom of movement of workers laid down in Article 45 TFEU and Article 28 of the EEA Agreement.

A non-resident taxpayer who does not derive at least 75% of his or her taxable professional income from Belgium and who cannot effectively benefit from the deduction of maintenance annuities in his or her State of residence in the absence of sufficient taxable income in that State is deprived by Belgian legislation of the benefit of any deduction of those annuities. However, it follows from the case-law of the Court of Justice and in particular its judgment of 10 May 2012 in Case C-39/10, European Commission v Estonia that, in such a case, it is for the State of employment to take into account the personal and family circumstances of the non-resident taxpayer.