Lobbying German Case: Re-styled Invoices in Germany

The case:

Several IVA members are following the German restyling case referred to the EUCJ. The EUCJ ruling (“C-518/14 Senatex GmbH v Finanzamt Hannover-Nord”) due out this month may follow the Advocate General's (AG) opinion from earlier this year.  

If the Court follows the AG, the result of this will be that the Tax point of the re-styled invoices will no longer be based on the date that the re-styling took place, i.e. the restyling will not change the original Tax point date.

This will affect the claims of many members of the IVA. If Germany decides to implement the change (with immediate effect) on claims already submitted and claims submitted in the near future, the impact could possibly be quite significant.

In particular this will directly impact all claims being prepared by our members now, for submission prior to the September 30th deadline, as these claims will be prepared based on the current rules.

Action taken by the IVA Board:

Our Board member Cyrille Konter had a personal discussion with Frau Gruenkorn from the German Tax Authorities (BZSt). She clearly indicated that it was not up to the BZSt to take any decision about the possible impact of an EUCJ decision in the Senatex case, especially if the Court were to decide that the tax point of restyled invoices is no longer the date of the correction but the initial tax point of the transaction concerned. Such a decision will be taken at the level of the BMF and the BZSt would be bound by any decision taken by the BMF.

However, Frau Gruenkorn cannot imagine that an EUCJ decision would have an immediate impact on the way the BZSt handles the refund claims. In general, whenever there is a decision of the EUCJ (or any court) that leads to a change in the way the authorities deal with taxpayers, the BMF releases an official notice that foresees a date of entry into force of the new rules and explains how to deal with the cases prior to the decision. 

Frau Gruenkorn understands the concern of the IVA and its members and believes that a transition period would be foreseen if the Senatex decision changes the current restyling rules.  What this transition period will be, she cannot say. 

Frau Gruenkorn recommends that the IVA raise its concerns with the BMF
An official letter was sent on behalf of the IVA, prepared by Mark O’Riordan and Cyrille Konter, to present our approach to the BMF and ask what kind of transition period will be foreseen if the EUCJ confirms the position of the Advocate General.  The IVA has recently received a holding reply which states that the BZSt will await the EUCJ’s decision before commenting further.

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Disclaimer:  The information contained in the present page is general and does not constitute legal advice. Before taking any decision or action on the above information you should take the appropriate professional advice.