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Judgment No. 3020

Decision

1. The impugned decision is set aside inasmuch as it denied the complainant's request for a refund in respect of 2007 and 2008.
2. The WTO shall pay the complainant the excess amounts paid to the Genevan tax authorities in respect of 2007 and 2008.
3. It shall also pay her costs in the amount of 3,000 Swiss francs.
4. All other claims are dismissed.

Consideration 5

Extract:

"It does not lie within the Tribunal's competence, as defined in Article II, paragraph 5, of its Statute, to examine whether the practice followed by the Genevan tax authorities [...] was compatible with the provisions on the exemption enjoyed in principle by the complainant as a[n] official employed by an international organisation which has concluded a headquarters agreement with Switzerland [...]."

Reference(s)

ILOAT reference: Article II, paragraph 5, of the Statute of the Tribunal

Keywords

complaint allowed; complaint allowed in part; status of complainant; international civil servant; organisation; competence of tribunal; exception; written rule; domestic law; headquarters agreement; iloat statute; tax; limits

Consideration 6

Extract:

WTO Staff Rule 106.11 provides that "[n]ational income tax on salaries, allowances, indemnities or grants paid by the WTO shall be refunded to the staff member by the WTO." The complainant considers that her salary is indirectly taxed, because it is included in the assessment of her husband's rate of income tax. The Organization rejected her claims for reimbursement of what she describes as "over-taxation by the Swiss tax authorities". The Tribunal holds that "[t]he refusal to provide compensation for the additional amount of tax unfairly levied on the couple's income solely because of the complainant's earned income, although it was exempt from taxation, would have a paradoxical effect. A rule designed to guarantee equal wages would lead to unjustifiable inequality between an official whose earned income was unduly taxed although it was by law exempt from taxation and an official whose tax-exempt salary was taken into account for assessment purposes, thus reducing his/her spouse's disposable income after tax and therefore his/her economic capacity from which the official living with him/her naturally benefits. The impugned decision is therefore unlawful."

Reference(s)

Organization rules reference: WTO Staff Rule 106.11

Keywords

complaint allowed; complaint allowed in part; grounds; status of complainant; international civil servant; marital status; organisation; decision quashed; equal treatment; recovery of overpayment; written rule; domestic law; staff regulations and rules; breach; reckoning; salary; allowance; compensatory allowance; deduction; rate; tax; refund; effect; payment; purpose; reduction; refusal; request by a party; safeguard

Consideration 8

Extract:

WTO Staff Rule 106.11 provides that "[n]ational income tax on salaries, allowances, indemnities or grants paid by the WTO shall be refunded to the staff member by the WTO." The complainant considers that her salary is indirectly taxed, because it is included in the assessment of her husband's rate of income tax.
"[T]here is no need to entertain the claim that the WTO should be ordered to 'employ its authority and power' to persuade the competent Swiss authorities to abandon the practice giving rise to this dispute, since the Tribunal has no jurisdiction to issue such an order."

Reference(s)

Organization rules reference: WTO Staff Rule 106.11

Keywords

marital status; competence of tribunal; order; domestic law; tax; ratione materiae



 
Dernière mise à jour: 03.12.2018 ^ haut