Change of Sovereignty (Taxation) Case

CourtObsolete Court (Germany)
Date18 l 1921
Docket NumberCase No. 57
Germany, Federal Tribunal in Financial Matters (Reichsfinanzhof).
Case No. 57
Change of Sovereignty (Taxation) Case.

State Succession — Miscellaneous — In Matters of Taxation — Liability to Taxation by the Ceding State — Taxation Claims Validly Arisen Prior to the Cession.

Nationality — Effects of Changes of Sovereignty — Article 278 of the Treaty of Versailles.

Effect of Change of Sovereignty — Effect on Nationality — Liability to Taxation by the Ceding State — Succession in the Matter of Taxation — Article 278 of the Treaty of Versailles.

The Facts.—The appellant had resided from 1906 in the province of Posen, which was occupied by Poland after the armistice and subsequently ceded to Poland by virtue of the Treaty of Versailles. After the Polish troops occupied the province the appellant moved to Germany. It appeared that he intended to opt for German nationality. In July and September, 1920, the appellant was asked to make a declaration in connection with the German Capital Levy Act. That Act was made to apply to persons who on 30 June, 1919, were of German nationality. The Peace Treaty of Versailles was signed on 28 June, 1919. It entered into force on 10 January, 1920. The appellant contended that he was a Polish national and was not, therefore, subject to the capital levy. He also invoked Article 278 of the Treaty of Versailles, which provided as follows: “Germany undertakes to recognise any new nationality which has been or may be acquired by her nationals under the laws of the Allied and Associated Powers and in accordance with the decisions of the competent authorities of these Powers pursuant to naturalisation laws or under treaty stipulations, and to regard such persons as having, in consequence of the acquisition of such new nationality, in all respects severed their allegiance to their country of origin.” Article 91 of the Treaty provided that: “German nationals habitually resident in territories recognized as forming part of Poland will acquire Polish nationality ipso facto and will lose their German nationality.”

Held: That the appeal must be dismissed.

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