Court questions German nuclear fuel rod tax

EU judges have been asked to issue guidance. The government will have to reimburse more than €2.1bn in collected tax if it loses the case

Germany’s tax on nuclear fuel rods might violate EU law, a Hamburg court has said. While the court plans to ask the European Court of Justice for guidance, the country’s potential coalition partners are divided over the future of the tax.

In a statement published on Tuesday, the court said it “cannot assess beyond any doubt” whether the tax introduced in 2011 complies with European law.

The court wants to know whether the tax is allowed under the directive on energy taxation. It will also ask European judges if it constitutes an indirect tax on electricity as defined by EU rules on excise duties. These rules prohibit member states from creating new taxes for “general budget financing purposes”, according to the statement.

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