Constitutional limits on taxation in Denmark


  • Mark Ørberg Copenhagen Business School
  • Peter Koerver Schmidt Copenhagen Business School


Constitutional tax law, principle of legality, taxing powers, non-delegation doctrine, statutory interpretation of tax provisions, general anti-avoidance rules, GAAR


The authors discuss the Danish legislator’s taxing powers in a constitutional context. The principle of legality, particularly the non-delegation doctrine enshrined in the constitution, prescribes that no taxes shall be imposed, altered, or repealed except by statute. Section 43 of the Danish constitution thus provides a constitutional prohibition on legislative delegation in the tax area. In the view of the authors, the Danish Supreme Court has approached the non-delegation doctrine pragmatically, accepting important modifications regarding both the practical realities of lawmaking and the long-standing practice of delegation of certain taxing powers to the municipalities. In accordance with the prevailing view, the authors reject the notion that a particular requirement for a clear statutory basis for imposing tax follows from section 43 of the constitution. Finally, the authors assess the constitutionality of the recently adopted statutory general anti-avoidance rules and argue that these new provisions are not unconstitutional. This article is – with the kind permission of the publishers – to a large extent based on the authors’ contribution to an international anthology on constitutional principles of taxation: The principle of legality in the context of Danish tax law, in Noções gerais e limitações formais ao poder de tributar (2020), p. 385-400. Belo Horizonte: Fórum.

Author Biographies

Mark Ørberg, Copenhagen Business School

Assistant professor at Copenhagen Business School LAW where he teaches corporate law, company law, and administrative law. His current research interests include foundation law, constitutional law and the intersection between public law and private law, statutory interpretation, and comparative law.


Peter Koerver Schmidt, Copenhagen Business School

Peter Koerver Schmidt is Professor at Copenhagen Business School with special responsibilities in Tax Law and particular emphasis on Danish and International Corporate Tax Law.



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How to Cite

Ørberg, M., & Schmidt, P. K. (2023). Constitutional limits on taxation in Denmark. Review of International and European Economic Law, 2(3), 92–103. Retrieved from