Judgment delivered on 23 November 2016
The trade union for seafarers 'Søfartens Ledere' acting for A and B
The Danish Ministry of Taxation
The case was heard with Supreme Court case no. 251/2015.
The case concerned whether the Ministry of Taxation was liable for the loss suffered by A and B as a result of their net salary not being increased following the general tax cuts introduced in 2009 with the Danish Government's Spring Package 2.0
According to the Danish Seafarer Taxation Act, seafarers on board Danish ships receive a tax-free net salary on certain conditions. A and B were of the opinion that according to the Seafarer Taxation Act and the EU state aid rules, the Ministry of Taxation was obliged to ensure that their net salary was increased in step with general tax cuts in society, including as a result of the tax cut introduced in 2009 with Spring Package 2.0.
Like the High Court, the Supreme Court found that an obligation to increase the salary in case of tax cuts could not be inferred from the Seafarer Taxation Act, just as it was not in contravention of the EU state aid rules that the salary was not increased when Spring Package 2.0 was implemented.
The Supreme Court thus upheld the High Court's judgment and found in favour of the Ministry of Taxation.