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VAT identification number when declaring an intra-community movement

By judgement of 20th October, the European court of justice makes clear that the VAT directives must be interpreted in such a way that exemption from VAT at an intra-community movement (EU VAT directive art. 138 (2) c)) cannot be refused on the grounds that the taxpayer has not communicated a VAT-ID number of the country of destination.

The condition for the tax exemption to be granted nevertheless is, that there is no concrete evidence of tax evasion. In addition, the object must have been moved to another member state and the other conditions for tax exemption must also be met. The European Court of Justice says that the communication of the VAT number is merely a form of requirement. It is true that the tax identification number is a proof that an intra-community transfer is given.

The proof of the tax liability can in no case depend exclusively on the communication of the VAT ID number. If the financial administration has information that can be used to establish that the requirements for the exemption of the taxpayer are met, the proof of the tax liability can not depend solely on the notification of the VAT ID number.