On 13 November 2012 the European Court of Justice held that the UK’s treatment of UK and foreign dividends for tax purposes was contrary to EU law. This decision is likely to have a significant impact on Ireland’s laws in respect of the taxation of foreign dividends and could potentially open up opportunities for Irish companies to seek tax refunds.

Irish companies which have paid tax on foreign dividends may have an opportunity to claim a refund of that tax. Importantly, any company which is potentially entitled to a refund should take action before 11 December 2012, by filing a protective claim with Revenue in respect of the tax suffered.