Since the entry into force of the UCC, the German customs administration has been requesting the tax ID of employees entrusted with customs matters in the course of the revaluation of permits. Whether the extensive query of the tax ID is permissible is highly controversial. This question has now been put to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) by the Düsseldorf Finance Court. Meanwhile, companies do not have to provide the tax ID to the customs administration.
FG Düsseldorf doubts retrieval of tax ID
A logistics service provider filed a lawsuit with the Düsseldorf Finance Court against the request for the tax ID. The tax court had doubts about the practice of the German customs administration and submitted to the ECJ for a preliminary ruling the questions whether the customs administration may request the tax ID of members of the supervisory board, managing directors, heads of department, heads of accounting, heads of the customs department as well as persons responsible for customs matters and persons handling customs matters. The ECJ should also clarify whether the inquiry of the tax office, which is responsible for the income tax of the mentioned group of persons, is permissible.
Customs suspends tax ID query
The doubts expressed by the tax court are a stage victory for economic operators. The German customs administration has suspended the request for the tax ID until further notice. In any case, licence holders and applicants should monitor developments in the preliminary ruling procedure before the ECJ in order to protect their employees’ data accordingly.
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