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Harmonised direct tax legislation at European level is extremely limited. With the exception of the Parent Subsidiary Directive and the Mergers Directive, enacted in 1990, the progress of other corporation tax harmonising measures is slow insofar as they provoke political controversy. In spite of this reality, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) appears to be acting as a driving force towards harmonisation of European corporation tax systems. The list of cross-border tax issues that the ECJ has tackled is rapidly expanding. The ECJ has not only rendered decisions on the interpretation of the two directives, but it has also issued decisions intended to form a body of case law in response to claims of discriminatory taxation brought by taxpayers.

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