The ECJ's remarkable decision on IRAP

On 3 October 2006, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) declared that IRAP, an Italian regional tax on productive activities, did not violate the prohibition laid down by the European VAT Directive for the Member States to maintain or introduce taxes with the characteristics of a turnover tax. Although the ECJ's judgment has definitively settled the issue, the author revisits it in this article and discusses the compatibility of IRAP with Community law from a legal, not an economic, point of view. He also draws attention to the unexpected change of attitude of the ECJ.