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As it was published by the media a few days ago, the Judgment of the Court 27 February 2014 declared that the tax on retail sales of certain hydrocarbons (IVMDH), known as “health cent” is contrary to European Union law.

The Court has not limited the temporal effects of its judgment since it considers that Spanish authorities did not act in good faith, as they maintained the IVMDH for a period of over ten years, despite the warnings from European Commission.

In principle, taxpayers who wish to claim a refund of the amount paid by the “health cent” when filling up their vehicles, may only do it for the amounts paid between March 2010 and December 2012, as the previous fiscal years have expired and the IVMDH was abolished from 1 January 2013, date on which this tax was integrated in the general tax on hydrocarbons.

With the invoices, it would suffice to go to any office of the Inland Revenue of the Community where the tax was paid and file those invoices, asking for the recovery of the sums unduly paid such as it is typified in the tax legislation.

However, it is advisable to analyze each situation to see what fuel invoices are affected by this Judgment and assess its economic impact, for the purposes of determining whether it is worth claiming and on what terms, since the amounts paid on the expired tax years could be claimed through an Action for Damages against the State, for responsibility when transposing European Union directives into the national Spanish law.

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