Persons who have incorrectly or unjustifiably stated VAT in an invoice (sec. 14c German VAT Act / Art. 203 VAT Directive) can now claim a refund from their tax office more easily in certain instances. Previously, the issuer of the invoice was required to carry out the corrective actions provided for in sec. 14c German VAT Act (e.g. invoice correction). In deviation from this, the ECJ has now ruled that, in certain cases, it is not necessary to take corrective action. For this purpose, it must be established that the invoice issued does not give rise to a risk of input VAT deduction by the recipient of the invoice, e.g. because the recipient is a final consumer. Invoice issuers now have the opportunity to take advantage of the ECJ’s statements.
According to the ECJ in Luxury Trust Automobil (Case C-247/21), the application of the triangular rule requires that the intermediary purchaser indicates, in his invoice, that the recipient is liable for the VAT. The ECJ hence abandons the chosen path of attaching only formal significance to invoice details. "Failed" triangular transactions cannot be cured retroactively. German tax courts have recently answered this question inconsistently. Unfortunately, it remains open whether the simplification for triangular transactions can be applied retrospectively, but without retroactive effect. The next court proceedings are thus pre-programmed.