A Comprehensive Analysis of ECJ Case Law on Discriminatory Treatment of Cross-Border Inheritances – Part 1

In this two-part article, the author provides a comprehensive analysis of 13 ECJ decisions on the discriminatory treatment of cross-border inheritances. Part 1 categorizes the cases, examines the most common EU freedom at stake and outlines the first step of the ECJ’s analysis of the concept of restriction, as well as “indirect discrimination”. Part 2, to be published in European Taxation 12 (2015), will discuss the requirement for a direct link between debts and immovable property, provide an overview of the justifications invoked by Member States and the possibility of such justifications being accepted by the ECJ in EU/EEA and third-country scenarios and explore the role of the proportionality principle. A comparison of ECJ case law on inheritance taxation with personal and corporate income tax cases is also given.