Key Points:

  • The cases of C-10 22/97 Ministero delle Finanze v IN.CO.GE  1998 ECR I- 6307 concern claims for repayment of a registration charge which had been levied under Italian legalisation which was not compatible with EU law.
  • In a series of disputes between the Ministry of Finance and IN.CO.GE. and twelve other limited liability companies, the District Magistrate’s Court, Rome, referred to the Court of Justice for preliminary ruling under Article 177 of the E.C

The legal principles:

  •  Whether the claim is fiscal or civil.

Facts of the Case:

  • An Italian company registration charge along with an annual charge for companies was questioned if it fit with Council Directive 69/335 Art 10.
  • The Companies managed to secure an injunction repayment for the registration charge however the national authorities disregard that the court lacked authority on issues relating to tax and taxation.
  • The Ministry challenged said orders and the national court made reference to ECJ for a preliminary ruling as to whether the incompatibility of Art 10 meant that the provisions could be set aside completely. 

Issues in Cases Summary: cases c-10 22/97 Ministero delle Finanze v IN.CO.GE  1998 ECR I- 6307:

  • As mentioned, the issue was over whether this case was fiscal in nature of civil as this would determine the correct law to be applied.

Held Court of Justice:

  • It was held in a preliminary ruling that there was a right to repayment of the charge.


(Presiding, Rodríguez Iglesias P. ; Kapteyn , Puissochet ( Rapporteur ), Hirsch and Jann PP.C. ; Mancini , Moitinho de Almeida , Gulmann , Murray , Edward , Ragnemalm , Sevón , Wathelet , Schintgen and Ioannou JJ. ) Mr Dámaso Ruiz-Jarabo Colomer , Advocate General

  • The Ministry of Finance chose to challenge the injunctions for repayment. This was on two grounds,  on whether the dispute was civil of fiscal in kind. The national court viewed the dispute and judged that it was under a duty to apply provisions of national law.  It was also mentioned by the courts that the non application of the Italian law introducing the charges had the effect of depriving the fiscal nature in which the legal relationship established between national tax authorities and companies when there were amounts paid.
  • Any reclassification of a Member State was also held to be decided under national law, following a finding that a charge was levied under national law which was opposed to Community Law.