Based on the overview of Jurisdictions Participating in the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters as available on the website of the OECD, on May 31, 2018 Grenada deposited its instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval for the OECD’s Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters. Grenada signed the Convention on May 18, 2018.

On May 31, 2018 the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) judged in the joined Cases C-660/16 (Finanzamt Dachau versus Achim Kollroß) and C-661/16 (Finanzamt Göppingen versus Erich Wirtl) (ECLI:EU:C:2018:372).

The present requests for a preliminary ruling concern the interpretation of Articles 63, 65, 167, 185 and 186 of Council Directive 2006/112/EC of 28 November 2006 on the common system of value added tax (OJ 2006 L 347, p. 1).


The requests have been made in proceedings between (i) Mr Achim Kollroß and the Finanzamt Dachau (Dachau Tax Office, Germany) and (ii) Mr Erich Wirtl and the Finanzamt Göppingen (Göppingen Tax Office, Germany), concerning those offices’ refusal to allow those individuals to deduct the input value added tax (VAT) paid in relation to payments made on account for the delivery of combined heat and power units that were not, ultimately, delivered.

On May 31, 2018 the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) judged in Case C-382/16, Hornbach-Baumarkt AG versus Finanzamt Landau (ECLI:EU:C:2018:366).

This request for a preliminary ruling concerns the interpretation of Article 43 EC (now Article 49 TFEU), in conjunction with Article 48 EC (now Article 54 TFEU).


The request has been in made in proceedings between Hornbach-Baumarkt AG and the Finanzamt Landau (Tax Office, Landau, Germany) (‘the Tax Office’), relating to the calculation by the latter of the corporation tax and the basis of calculation for that company’s business tax for the year 2003.

On May 29, 2018 the Dutch Ministry of Finance sent a summary of discussions of the EUROGROUP meeting of May 24, 2018 and the Economic and Financial Affairs (ECOFIN) Council of May 25, 2018 to the Dutch House of Representatives. These summary of discussions give an interesting insight in the discussions that were held. In this article we will focus on the summary of discussions of the VAT topics that were discussed during the ECOFIN Council of May 25, 2018.

On May 30, 2018 on the website of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) the opinion of Advocate General Tanchev in the Case C-664/16, Lucreţiu Hadrian Vădan versus Agenţia Naţională de Administrare Fiscală — Direcţia Generală de Soluţionare a Contestaţiilor Direcţia Generală Regională a Finanţelor Publice Braşov — Administraţia Judeţeană a Finanţelor Publice Alba (ECLI:EU:C:2018:346) was published.

The invoice is an essential element of a taxable person’s right to deduct input VAT under Council Directive 2006/112/EC on the common system of value added tax (‘the VAT Directive’). Indeed, a properly drawn up invoice has been termed the ‘ticket of admission’ to the right of deduction, given that it has an ‘insurance function’ for the national fiscal authority in linking input tax deduction to the payment of tax.

In the circumstances of the main proceedings, may the right to deduct input VAT as provided for in the VAT Directive be refused by a national fiscal authority where the taxpayer fails to provide it with any invoices?

That is in substance the key issue that arises for the Court’s consideration in the present reference for a preliminary ruling submitted by the Curtea de Apel Alba Iulia (Court of Appeal, Alba Iulia, Romania). The referring court takes the view that it entails interpretation of the right to deduct input tax as established in Articles 167, 168, 178, 179 and 273 of the VAT Directive, and consideration of the principles of proportionality and VAT neutrality. Moreover, the referring court queries whether, under the facts of the main proceedings, an indirect assessment method by means of a court-commissioned expert report for determining the right of deduction is permissible under EU VAT law in the absence of invoices.

Under the established case-law of the Court, subject to certain exceptions, national fiscal authorities must grant the taxable person the right to deduct input tax, as set down in the VAT Directive, where the substantive requirements such as those provided for in Chapter 1 of Title X of the VAT Directive (entitled ‘Origin and scope of right of deduction’) have been satisfied, even if the taxable person has failed to comply with some of the formal requirements related to the exercise of that right, which include invoicing.

So far, that case-law has generally pertained to situations involving defects associated with an otherwise properly drawn up invoice, or other matters that are relevant to whether or not such invoices can be presented to the tax authorities with a view to deducting input tax, such as limitation periods. This case presents the Court with the opportunity to decide whether this approach should be followed in circumstances involving the taxable person’s failure to supply any invoices at all, and it is proposed to fill the evidential gap with an expert’s report.

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