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Ryanair pursues EUR15 million 'double tax' refund in France

Staff Writer |
Ryanair Holdings said it will pursue a refund of the EUR15 million, plus interest, it said it has paid in "double taxes" in France.

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This is following a ruling by the European Court of Justice upholding European Union rules on social insurance payments for international transport workers.

Ryanair said it "welcomes" the decision by the ECJ in the 'A Rosa' case, which has determined that A1 certificates issued by one EU member state confirming the social insurance status of international transport workers must be accepted by all other EU member states.

To date, France has refused to accept the A1 certificates, meaning Ryanair has paid EUR10 million in "double taxes" to the French state between 2006 and 2010, it said.

"This ECJ ruling confirms that the French social insurance authorities have acted unlawfully over the past 10 years by double charging Ryanair, and its people, who were based temporarily in Marseille, but who had already fully paid their social insurance in Ireland in accordance with EU regulations," Ryanair said.

The 'A Rosa' ruling also renders null and void an attempt by the French state in 2017 to pursue Ryanair for social insurance payments for its pilots and cabin crew who were operating on temporary summer schedules from Marseille between 2011 and 2014.

According to Ryanair, the French authorities ordered it to "double pay" EUR5 million of social insurance taxes which it has already paid in Ireland.

"Ryanair's lawyers will be calling on the Marseille investigating magistrate to abandon this investigation which flies in the face of EU social insurance rules, and this ECJ ruling in the A Rosa case," Ryanair said.

In addition, a similar situation is occurring in Italy, Ryanair said, where the Italian authorities are pursuing several claims from 2006 to 2011 for payment of Italian social insurance contributions which have already been paid in Ireland.

"Ryanair's lawyers will be writing to the Italian authorities to withdraw these claims as they now have no prospect of success given the clear ruling of the European Courts," the airline said.

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