The Cologne Tax Court has supported the Revenue's decision
to disallow an input-VAT refund in cases, where some of the fields
on the official refund application form were left blank (reference
number: 2 K 4627/06, 2 K 813/10, 2 K 354/10).
Non EU residents are, under certain preconditions, entitled to a
refund of VAT they paid, which they have to apply for with the
Federal Tax Office. EU residents can apply through their national
authorities, who will transfer such application to the respective
German authorities. Non EU-members can only apply until June 30 of
the following years, whereas EU members can apply until September
30, 2011 for input VAT paid in 2010.
The forms required for such application contain several queries on
the use of the acquired products and their purpose. In the past,
many applicants left these fields (no. 9a through 9c) blank, when
claiming a full refund, as they believed the application to stand
for itself. This has been successful in several occasions in the
past, however the revenue has taken several of these cases to court
successfully and has denied the claims. Thus, applicants should
ensure that they fill out the applications completely.
Where an application was filed incompletely in the past, such
application should be re-filed with a complete form before the
respective cut-off date (I.e. June 30 for non EU residents and Sept
30 for EU residents).
We believe that such decisions are not in line with both German
domestic law and EU law. Therefore, taxpayers should not accept, if
their application has been rejected. However, the argumentation has
to fit to the particular information that is missing. Various
arguments will be tested in further cases pending at the Cologne
Tax court (reference number: 2 K 106/04, 2 K 3985/04).
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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The Cyprus Tax Department recently issued Forms T.D 38, T.D 38Qa and T.D 38Qb applicable to individuals being Cyprus tax residents but non-Cyprus domiciled.
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