The court settled a dispute concerning the unjustified imposition of VAT on the vehicle purchase transaction
The lawyer of the Vilnius law firm SPES managed to defend the client’s interests in a dispute with the tax administrator concerning the unjustified imposition of VAT on the vehicle purchase transaction.
The client of the firm acquired a vehicle from a natural person which meets the definition of a new vehicle in accordance with Part 16 of Article 2 of the Law on Value Added Tax. At the time of concluding the transaction, the firm’s client did not notice that the person named in the transaction as the seller was not the person who actually sold the vehicle, but it was a German company.
Pursuant to Part 8 of Article 92 of the Law on Value Added Tax, the tax administrator charged VAT to the law firm’s client.
The firm’s lawyer managed to prove in court that the principle of the primacy of content over form applies not only to the taxpayer but also to the tax administrator. The court, after assessing the actual circumstances of the transaction i.e. that the vehicle was in fact sold in Lithuania by a natural person and the German company specified in the contract confirmed that it was not and had not previously owned the vehicle, ruled that the tax administrator was not sufficiently active, did not clarify all the circumstances of the transaction, did not substantiate the conclusion that the vehicle was purchased by the law firm’s client in Germany, and therefore annulled the decision to calculate VAT on a new vehicle purchased from another Member State.
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