VATLive > Blog > Germany > Germany loses VAT recovery case at ECJ

Germany loses VAT recovery case at ECJ

  • Nov 26, 2020 | Richard Asquith

Germany has lost an important VAT recovery case at the European Court of Justice. The EU court of last resort held that foreign companies should be allowed to submit German VAT reclaims initially without supporting invoices without losing their rights for repayment.

The case concerned a claim to recover VAT on German expenses by a non-resident business. The company submitted their recover claim on time. However, they were only able to send supporting invoices after the filing deadline. The German federal tax administration struck down their claim.

However, on appeal to the ECJ, it held the German view violated the principle of VAT neutrality, denying foreign businesses of their right to recover VAT they are entitled to. German is one of the most complex countries for foreign VAT reclaims, with a high rejection rate.

Need help with your German VAT compliance?

Researching German VAT legislation is the first step to understanding your VAT compliance needs. Avalara has a range of solutions that can help your business depending on where and how you trade. 

Latest German news

VP Global Indirect Tax
Richard Asquith
VP Global Indirect Tax Richard Asquith
Richard Asquith is VP Global Indirect Tax at Avalara, helping businesses understand their compliance obligations as they grow globally. He can be contacted at: He is part of the European leadership team which won International Tax Review's 2020 Tax Technology Firm of the Year. Richard trained as an accountant with KPMG in the UK, and went on to work in Hungary, Russia and France with EY.
VATlive newsletter

Sign up for our free newsletter stay up-to-date with the latest tax news.

VAT Voice Webinars

Stay ahead of the curve, sign-up to VAT Voice, our essential monthly round-up of VAT, GST and legislation news