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ECJ: AG Opinion on Case No. C-247/21 (Luxury Trust Automobil GmbH) – Intra-Community Transactions – Invoice reference to a reverse charge for triangulation

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AG Kokott’s opinion on ECJ Case No. C-247/21, delivered by the European Court of Justice on 14 July clarifies Austrian VAT rules regarding intra-community transactions.
 

Background 

 

An Austrian taxpayer, Luxury Trust Automobil GmbH, bought automobiles from a British corporation. Using the taxpayer’s transportation agreement, the supplier delivered them to a Czech business. 

 

The transfer of VAT obligation to the actual buyer was not mentioned in the VAT invoices, only references to intracommunity triangular transactions that were free from VAT were made. The acquisition was deemed to have taken place in Austria by the Austrian tax administration. The taxpayer appealed after making the necessary invoice corrections. 

 

Article 25 (Triangular Transaction) 

 

When three businesses carry out taxable transactions involving the same commodities in three separate Member States, the items are transferred straight from the initial supplier to the final client, and the requirements are met, this is known as a triangular transaction. That holds true even if the end consumer is a natural person who is not an enterprise or who is not purchasing the goods for an enterprise. 

 

Article 40 (Intra Community Acquisition) 

 

Unless the person purchasing the goods can prove that VAT was applied to the purchase, the location of an intracommunity acquisition of goods is presumed to be inside the borders of the Member State that provided the VAT identification number used to make the purchase. 

 

AG Opinion 

 

  • If the invoice refers to a reverse charge, only then the entity to whom the supply is made must be considered responsible for VAT under the EU common VAT system. 
  • That a post-transaction invoice with the necessary reverse charge indication may be generated, but only with prospective, not retroactive, impact. 

 

Source: eur-lex.europa.eu   

 

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