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Can French taxpayers appeal against an administrative decision refusing them a refund of undue tax where the Kühne & Heitz conditions are met?

Written by Yves Rutschmann, Ronan Vallerie and Amaury Monnet-Vallon

Published on European Tax Blog

In the landmark Kühne & Heitz case, the Court of Justice held that an administrative body is – under certain conditions – obliged to review an earlier decision issued by it in order to take account of a subsequent interpretation given by the Court of Justice of a relevant provision of EU law (Case C-453/00, Kühne & Heitz NV).

In Kühne & Heitz, the Court sought to “strike a balance between the requirement for legal certainty and the requirement for legality under EU law” (Case C-249/11, Hristo Byankov). Indeed, the importance of legal certainty is reaffirmed since “[it is not required] that administrative bodies be placed under an obligation, in principle, to reopen an administrative decision which has become final” (Case C-453/00, Kühne & Heitz NV). However, the requirement of legality with regard to EU law means that “specific circumstances may be capable…of requiring a national administrative body to review an administrative decision…in order to take account of the interpretation of a relevant provision of EU law given subsequently by the Court” (Case C-2/06, Willy Kempter KG v Hauptzollamt Hamburg-Jonas). Read More