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Comments on ECJ C-355/22: National court cannot temporarily suspend the application of EU law

A Belgian taxpayer provided osteopathy services and taxed them with VAT under Belgian regulations. The Belgian constitutional court ruled that these regulations are unconstitutional and the services should be VAT exempt according to the EU Court of Justice. However, the annulment only applies to events before October 2019 due to legal certainty and practical difficulties in refunding improperly rebated tax. The national court cannot uphold provisions incompatible with EU law due to the impossibility of refunding unduly collected VAT to service recipients. Member states must eliminate any consequences contrary to EU law, and only the Court of Justice of the EU can temporarily suspend the effect of EU law. Administrative difficulties alone are not sufficient to prioritize legal certainty over invalid legislation.

Source Paweł Mikuła

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