Deduction of input tax — Compulsory content of invoices — Legitimate expectation on the part of the taxable person regarding the existence of the conditions giving rise to the right to deduct.
The requirements relating to invoice information must be interpreted strictly since it is not possible for Tax Authorities to lay down more stringent requirements than those under the VAT Directive. The Court has stressed repeatedly that the deduction of input VAT must be allowed if the substantive requirements are satisfied, even if certain formal conditions are not complied with. As a result, Tax Authorities may not make the recovery of input VAT conditional upon that the address where the issuer of an invoice carries out its economic activity must be indicated on the invoice.
The VAT registration number should be regarded as a key information to identify contracting parties. The invoice remains valid although the address is not the place where the activity is run. Again the Court put the emphasis on the principle that substance prevails over form. Tax Authorities are still reluctant to align with that ECJ case law principle.
Missing VAT number
Deduction of input tax — Invoices not showing a tax number or VAT identification number — Legislation of a Member State excluding the ex tunc correction of an invoice’
VAT Directive must be interpreted as precluding national legislation, such as that at issue in the main proceedings, under which the correction of an invoice in relation to a detail which must be mentioned, namely the value added tax identification number, does not have retroactive effect, so that the right to deduct value added tax exercised on the basis of the corrected invoice relates not to the year in which the invoice was originally drawn up but to the year in which it was corrected.
Details required on invoices
Right of deduction — Conditions of exercise — Article 226(6) and (7) — Details required in invoices — Extent and nature of the services rendered — Date on which the supply of services is made)
- Article 226 of VAT Directive must be interpreted as meaning that invoices mentioning only ‘legal services rendered from (a date) until the present date’, such as those at issue in the main proceedings, do not a priori comply with the requirements of point 6 of that article and that invoices mentioning only ‘legal services rendered until the present date’ do not a priori comply either with the requirements of point 6 or with those of point 7 of that article, which is, however, for the referring tribunal to ascertain.
- Article 178(a) of VAT Directive must be interpreted as precluding the national tax authorities from refusing the right to deduct value added tax solely because the taxable person holds an invoice which does not satisfy the conditions required by Article 226(6) and (7) of that directive, even though those authorities have available all the necessary information for ascertaining whether the substantive conditions for the exercise of that right are satisfied.