ILLEGAL FUEL TAX IN SPAIN COULD COST THE COUNTRY BILLIONS
A fuel tax in Spain could end up costing the Spanish government billions of euros. In 2003, Spain implemented a “health cent” tax on the sale of hydrocarbons in order to generate revenue to help finance healthcare spending. Last Thursday, Advocate General Nils Wahl, an adviser to the European Court of Justice, said that this tax is illegal because it does not comply with the regulations the EU sets on the levy of additional indirect taxes. If the court follows Wahl’s opinion, Spain could be liable to repay 13 billion euros in compensation to fuel consumers, who, under Spanish law, would have up to four years to make claims. The government has asked the court to avoid making the judgment retroactive, as such payments would strain the country’s local and central governments, which are already burdened by heavy deficits. Spain’s finance minister said on Thursday that the country would respect the court’s decision. For the full story, see http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/international-business/eu-ruling-on-fuel-tax-could-cost-spain-billions-of-euros/articleshow/24671655.cms and http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/10/24/us-ruth-spain-fuel-eu-idUKBRE99N0M520131024.