61
2020
In its judgment Golfclub Schloss Igling (Case C-488-18), the ECJ defined the scope of the VAT exemption for sports-related services. The decision affects all sports. Contrary to the case law of the German Federal Fiscal Court, it is not possible to directly invoke Art. 132 para 1 lit. m of the VAT Directive. Court and green fees, as well as racket and ball rental can no longer be exempted from VAT. The national exemption according to § 4 No. 22 lit. b) German VAT Act is not necessarily linked to a formally approved non-profit status pursuant to the German Fiscal Code.
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60
2020
The success of appeals and legal remedies in VAT cases does not only depend on substantive law. Procedural law is also of decisive importance. The following specific aspects may be significant: Late-payment penalties possibly unconstitutional +++ General reference to criminal investigation report by the fiscal court +++ Procedural violation in cases of violation of the right to be heard +++ Inspection of files only on the premises of the court or the tax authorities +++ Electronic mailbox for lawyers mandatory in Bremen
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59
2020
For years, companies, associations and interest-group based networks have been demanding, in vain, that a solution be found for companies to deal with the liquidity burden resulting from imports into Germany. In the Second Corona Tax Aid Act of 29 June 2020, the legislator amended the regulations on the due date of import VAT (see KMLZ VAT Newsletter 21 I 2020). According to the Federal Ministry of Finance letter of 6 October 2020, the new regulation will apply as from 1 December 2020.
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58
2020
If taxable persons mistakenly apply the reverse charge scheme, the supplier is required to pay the VAT to the tax office, including any late assessment interest. The customer could previously only claim input VAT upon receipt of a proper invoice. Therefore, there was no interest on refunds. Although the German fiscal authorities affirmed a retroactive invoice supplement for cases of domestic reverse charge, they denied a retroactive effect for alleged intra-Community supplies of services (article 196 of the VAT Directive). A first instance Fiscal Court contradicts this restriction in two recent judgements.
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57
2020
The precondition for a non-taxable transfer of a going concern is the continuation of the business activity. If a letting activity is carried on after the transfer, the transfer is not taxable if the seller has previously operated a letting business with respect to the particular property. The Federal Ministry of Finance specifies that a rental business is to be assumed after only six months of rental activity. Furthermore, the Federal Ministry of Finance takes a position as to when these conditions are met in the case of chain transfers.
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56
2020
On 1 January 2020 the United Kingdom left the EU. During the current transitional period, the EU regulations still apply, in terms of VAT and customs law. As things currently stand, the transition period will expire on 31.12.2020. Distance sellers wishing to perform B2C supplies of goods to the United Kingdom from 01.01.2021 should now be making their respective preparations. Yet, which preparations are required exactly, is far from clear. However, despite the fact that it currently remains uncertain whether the United Kingdom will leave the EU with or without a deal, some information can already be substantiated. Our Newsletter sets out what can and should be done now.
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55
2020
In addition to practical difficulties in implementation, the temporary VAT rate reduction has raised a variety of questions of substantive law. The Federal Ministry of Finance already made mention of this issue in its letter of 30 June 2020. This said letter has now been supplemented by the newly published letter of 4 November 2020, which focuses primarily on the issues associated with the return to the "normal tax phase" on 1 January 2021. The regulations taken up are largely to be welcomed and provide some increased degree of legal certainty. Nevertheless, many issues of practical relevance still cannot be answered with legal certainty.
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54
2020
Taxable persons have always issued vouchers under a diverse range of purposes. They are used, for example, for the purpose of customer acquisition. They also have a pre-financing effect and are often not redeemed by the customer, despite payment. Since 01.01.2019, vouchers have been regulated by sec. 3 para. 13 to 15 German VAT Act. The Federal Ministry of Finance’s recent letter dated 02.11.2020 now sets out how, in the opinion of the tax authorities, the provisions should be interpreted. At least as of 01.01.2021, taxable persons should, if possible, structure their vouchers as multi-purpose vouchers.
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53
2020
The German Federal Ministry of Finance has published its long-awaited letter on the conditions for VAT exemption of intra-community supplies, which were tightened as of 01.01.2020. The Ministry has a very strict view regarding recapitulative statements. These must not only be submitted correctly and completely, but also on time. Corrections of any errors must also be made in due time and also in the appropriate period. Regarding the use of VAT ID numbers, the Ministry is much more liberal. There are no heavy demands placed on the proof of use and retroactive use is also possible. However, one thing seems to be inevitable: It must always be checked whether the customer's VAT ID number is valid at the time of delivery. Digital tools such as the KMLZ VAT-ID Verifier can offer support in this regard.
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52
2020
The ECJ has strengthened the right to deduct input VAT and thus the neutrality of VAT. Taxable persons who construct development facilities and later hand them over to the municipality, free of charge, are entitled to deduct input VAT. With its judgment of 16 September 2020 in the case Mitteldeutsche Hartstein-Industrie AG (C-528/19), the ECJ goes even further and states that taxation of a supply carried out free of charge can also be omitted.
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