Judgement in the CJEU Case C-518/14 – Senatex

The judgement in the CJEU Case C-518/14 – Senatex was issued on September 15th. 

As expected the Court’s judgement followed the earlier opinion of the Advocate General with the effect that the domestic legislation currently in place in Germany, is now prohibited.

The effect is that any VAT invoice that is modified does not change the original invoice date tax point for VAT deduction/recovery purposes. Hence, an invoice dated 2016 which is defective (it does not contain the customer’s name and address for example) and which is then corrected in 2017, will still be considered to be a ‘2016’ invoice for VAT deduction/recovery time-limit purposes.

Now that the judgement is published the next phase in the process is for the consequences of the decision to be discussed with the “top financial authorities” in Germany.

We now need to see how we can influence those discussions with respect to the applicable Directives and to try to secure the most effective transition period possible for our Members and the taxpayers they represent.

In order to do this we will again reach out to the BMF to

  • establish a timeline for the start and completion of discussions
  • establish who are the top financial authorities involved in discussions
  • offer our assistance / suggestions as to an appropriate transition period

Our recommendation for a transitional period would be:

  1. i) Any invoice with an original invoice date up to and including 31/12/2016 would be allowed to be included in a claim based on the year of correction.
  2. ii) All invoices with an original date of 2017 and forward would have to be submitted in claims for the year in which the original invoice was dated.

Our priority must be to secure legal certainty over those invoices that are already re-styled and which by the nature of the correction date can now only be submitted in a claim based on the year of correction.

The IVA received an official letter from the European Commission on 29.09.2016 confirming that infringement proceedings have been launched against Germany.

The proceedings are completely unrelated to the Senatex judgement.

The complaints on which the infringement proceedings are based, relate to Germany's rejection of VAT claims lodged pursuant to Council Directive 2008/9 EC. These complaints date back to late 2012 (missing images,etc.).

The original complaints covered a number of areas some of which have already been closed off without any action being taken.  Other items were never closed off and so some or all of those may form the basis of the infringement case.
We have gone back to the Commission to establish exactly which parts of the original complaint and which specific practices in Germany are subject to the decision to initiate infringement proceedings

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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.