New decision of the ECJ regarding triangular operations
By Brigitte Jakoby, Jakoby Dr Baumhof - Wirtschaftsprüfer Steuerberater Rechtsanwälte
The case in question concerns triangular operations of the German company Hans Buehler KG. The company has a German as well as an Austrian VAT-ID-No. Buehler applied the latter when it was a first customer in triangular operations.
Buehler purchased goods from German suppliers and resold them to a Czech customer. The goods were directly sent by the German suppliers to the Czech Republic. In the invoices, these transactions were treated as Intra-Community triangular operations. Buehler used the according tax simplification rules. That means its Intra-Community acquisitions are regarded as already taxed.
However, the Austrian tax authority refused the usage of these simplifications. In the opinion of the authority, the simplification rule was not applicable solely because Buehler has its residence in the departure country (Germany). Austria interprets sec. 141 lit c. VAT Directive in that way, as do one third of the other EU members.
In contrast, the ECJ came to the conclusion that sec. 141 lit c. does not preclude companies with residence in the country of departure and therefore the simplification rule for triangular operations is to be applied in these cases.
The ECJ has once again loosened these previously strict formal obligations. Companies which are in dispute over triangular operations with the tax authorities can now base their appeal on the Buehler decision.
Brigitte JakobyJakoby Dr. Baumhof - Wirtschaftsprüfer Steuerberater Rechtsanwälte, Rothenburg o.d.T., Germany
T: +49 9861 9405 0
Jakoby Dr Baumhof – Auditors Tax Consultants Lawyers – is a medium-sized interdisciplinary company located in the south of Germany, with offices in Rothenburg o.d. Tauber, located in Northern Bavaria, and Ebersberg, near Munich.
Brigitte Jakoby is a German Chartered Accountant and German Certified Tax Advisor. Since 1987 she has collaborated with her husband Eugen Jakoby, also a German Chartered Accountant and German Certified Tax Advisor. In 1996 she became one of the senior partners at Jakoby Dr. Baumhof.
Published: Autumn 2018 l Photo: Uwe Rieder