In 1997, Italy adopted the Regional Tax on Productive Activities, commonly known by the acronym IRAP. In 2001, the Banca Popolare di Cremona applied for a refund of the tax arguing that it violated Art. 33 of the Sixth Directive. In the course of the subsequent proceedings, Advocate General Jacobs of the European Court of Justice agreed on 17 March 2005 with the bank's position and, on 14 March 2006, Advocate General Stix-Hackl generally confirmed that opinion. In the article, the author reaches a different conclusion on different reasoning on the basis of the facts given in the Opinion, the four "essential characteristics of VAT" and a comparison of the IRAP and the EU-style VAT.