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Ever since its implementation, the German interest barrier rule (Zinsschranke) has been criticized and several experts held that it violates the German constitution. In 2013, the Federal Fiscal Court expressed doubts about the constitutionality of the interest barrier rule (file I B 85/13). By way of decision dated 10 October 2015 (file IR 20/15) and published 10 February 2016, the German Federal Fiscal Court (BFH) has now decided to refer the question whether or not the German interest barrier rule violates the German constitution to the Federal Constitutional Court (BVerfG). The BFH is convinced that the interest barrier rule constitutes a violation of the principle of equal treatment pursuant to Art. 3 para. 1 of the German Constitution.
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