European Court of Justice – Refund of foreign VAT

A German company submitted a request for a refund of the French VAT via the electronic portal of the German VAT Authorities. The French authorities then sent a request for additional information to which the company was legally obliged to reply within the one-month deadline. As no reply was received, the tax authorities rejected the company’s refund request.

The question is whether or not the legal period of one month is a rule of foreclosure whose non-compliance results in forfeiture of the right to a VAT refund. For the Court of Justice, this is not a time limit for foreclosure. The company still has the possibility to regularize its claim for reimbursement by producing directly before the national court additional information to establish the existence of its right to a VAT refund (02/05/2019, C/133-18, Sea Chefs Cruise Services GmbH).

We encourage European companies that have faced a rejection of their foreign VAT refund application on this basis (in France or elsewhere in Europe) to lodge an appeal in order to challenge the decision to refuse a refund.

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Raluca Tutu

  • Practice Leader

Raluca is a certified tax consultant and focuses on VAT, indirect and international tax advice, acting as lead tax counsel on various tax mandates for the company’s clients.

She holds a BA in Finance and Capital Markets from the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest and an LLM in International Tax from the Institute for Austrian and International Tax Law of Vienna University of Economics and Business. Raluca regularly publishes and contributes with tax related articles and expert views to various media channels. Raluca is author of the book “Value Added Tax, from Theory to Practice”, Published in December 2012 and she is the exclusive member for Romania of the European VAT Club.