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Slovakia: Right to input VAT deduction by importer (CJEU judgment)

Slovakia: Right to input VAT deduction by importer

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) issued a judgment in a case concerning the ability of an importer to claim an import value added tax (VAT) deduction if the importer did not become the owner of the imported goods.

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The case is: Finančné riaditeľstvo Slovenskej republiky v. Weindel Logistik Service SR spol. s r.o. (C‑621/19)

Summary

A company provided repacking services. In this case, the goods originated from Switzerland, Hong Kong, and China and were brought into Slovakia for the purpose of the repacking services. The company paid import VAT that, in turn, was claimed as an input VAT deduction. The amounts for repacking services were charged to the Swiss customer (that remained the owner of the goods during the entire process). After repacking, the goods were supplied to customers in other EU Member States or exported to third countries.

The tax authorities challenged the input VAT deduction claimed by the company on the basis that the company:

  • Was not the owner of the imported goods
  • Did not incur any costs that could be reflected in the price of output taxable supplies
  • Did not use imported goods for its economic activity as taxable person

The CJEU agreed with the Slovakian tax authorities that the right for an input VAT deduction was not available if:

  • The importer did not dispose of the goods as the owner of the goods.
  • The importation costs were not incurred on the input side or were not included in the price of the outputs or in the price of the goods and services supplied by the taxable person within the economic activity.


Read an October 2020 report prepared by the KPMG member firm in Slovakia 

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