The workshops

During the workshops, topics will be discussed in small groups using examples and real-life case studies in order to maintain a high level of quality. The aim is to have a mixture of as many different nationalities as possible in each workshop. All workshops are in principle led by two VAT experts from different countries with several years of experience in the field of VAT. The outcome of each workshop depends on the interest of the participants. Participants are very much invited to raise questions about practical issues. The number of participants per workshop is strictly limited to 16 persons.

Electronic invoicing in Italy as from 01.01.2019 
by Alessandro Portale (Studio Portale)

As from the 01st January 2019 Italy will introduce the obligatory electronic invoicing to all the supplies of goods and services performed by operators resident, established or identified in Italy. The electronic invoices will have to be sent to the customer through a platform managed by the Italian Tax Administration. The aim of this system is, for the tax administration, to have a continuous control on the transactions performed. But, what is the concept of “electronic invoice” according to these new rules? How can the operators be prepared to this new system? The data of invoices for the “cross border” transactions instead, will have to be summarized and sent to the Italian administration in a new declaration to be electronically submitted on a monthly basis. Which are the invoices to be included in this new communication? Which invoices can be, instead, excluded? Which will be the impact of the new electronic invoicing system and this new monthly communication for the non-Italian operators identified for VAT purposes in Italy? These topics will be analysed during the workshop trying to give an answer to many points that are still open.

Drop shipments
by Marja van den Oetelaar (
The VAT Consultancy Firm B.V) and Milan Vargan (Tax systems)

The term drop shipments is often used for ‘supplies without transport by the supplier’. This means that, when it comes to applying the exemption, the supplier often has major difficulties in obtaining proof that, firstly, its direct customer picked the goods and, secondly, where the goods have been shipped to. Moreover, drop shipments are often part of a chain.
In order to determine the VAT treatment applicable to supplies of goods, it is vital to know whether or not the goods have been transported, and to be aware of which person is responsible for transportation. Incoterms are often used for this purpose, but in what circumstances is it possible to link a single VAT treatment to one Incoterm? What are the issues one should pay attention to when using Incoterms to decide on the VAT treatment?

Proof of B2B supply of services based on EU legislation and ECJ jurisprudence
by Meritxell Yus (Cuatrecasas) and Patrick Wile (VAT Forum)

Article 44 of the EU VAT Directive states that the place of supply is where the customer is established. However some derogations still exist, whereby the place of supply is deemed to be where the immovable property is located, where the service is physically performed, etc.
What EU legislation, regulations and ECJ cases can be invoked to prove where the supply is deemed to take place? How should you use the available means to prove the place of supply of B2B services?
During the workshop you will be guided through the different forms of proof and how to approach the issue in itself.

Holding companies & VAT
by Alexis Tsielepis (Chelco VAT) and
Thierry Derochette (Taxconnected)

There is no specific legislation in respect of holding companies in the EU VAT Directive. Next to applying the general provision in the EU VAT Directive, the ECJ case law also needs to be looked into in order to understand how VAT affects holding companies. Yet trying to make sense of it all is not an easy task given that the ECJ case law is spread across 30 years and has been evolving a lot. This workshop will analyse and explain the main principles relevant to this area, including when a holding company is considered to be a taxable person, the treatment of dividend income, economic versus non-economic activities, to what extent the right of deduction applies when a holding company issues, buys or sells shares and much more.

Invoices showing undue VAT: what are the risks?
by Tania Pavlova (Taxacta) and
Meritxell Yus (Cuatrecasas)

There are different situations in which invoices can show VAT that is not due, for example:

  • If the wrong VAT rate is used (a rate that is too high)
  • If VAT is charged where the reverse charge is applicable
  • If VAT is charged where the supply is exempt from VAT
  • If VAT is charged where the supply is not taxable

In recent years, the European Court of Justice has made some important judgements concerning the neutrality of VAT, such as the Malburg Case, C‑204/13, in 2014 and the GST-Sarviz Case, C-111/14, in 2015.
During this workshop, we will discuss the action to be taken, which will depend on the situation and on the obligations applicable in the various Member States, when undue VAT is discovered on the invoice.

Fixed establishments / permanent establishments
by Alexis Tsielepis (Chelco VAT) and Katia Delfin Diaz (OmniVAT)

There is a general misapprehension of the fixed establishment concept, especially by tax authorities: there is no legal foundation for tax authorities to acknowledge the existence of a fixed establishment because of the existence of a permanent establishment. They are not the same concepts. The temptation is often to derive the definition of the fixed establishment from that of the permanent establishment, or even to treat them as synonyms, overlooking the very different environment in which they operate for their very different purpose. Ultimately they are different concepts with different underlying purposes: the permanent establishment being a world-wide direct tax concept, aimed at redistributing taxing rights between two contracting states through international double tax treaties, and the fixed establishment merely a VAT concept within the EU providing for uniform VAT treatment across the EU Member States.

Transfer pricing: how to tackle backward and forward pricing adjustments
by Fernando Matesanz (
SpanishVAT Services Asesores SL) and Thomas Pühringer (Pühringer Tax Consulting)

Indirect taxes are normally handled separately from transfer pricing issues. However, there are some situations where the transfer pricing rules can have a direct or indirect impact on VAT and Customs duties.
Transfer pricing adjustments are related to the original supply of the goods or services and can be done as a forward adjustment or as a backward adjustment on a monthly, quarterly or yearly basis.
This will lead to the correction of VAT returns and VIES listings in some Member States.

Call-off stocks versus consignment stocks versus transfers of own goods
by Pär Sundberg (Skeppsbron Skat) and
Thomas Pühringer (Pühringer Tax Consulting GmbH)

Many businesses keep stocks abroad in order to be able to support just-in-time supplies to their customers. The trade-off is then often made between obtaining a VAT registration number and doing transfers of own goods or applying a specific consignment or call-off scheme where it is possible.
What Member States have special rules for call-off stocks and consignment stocks?
Should businesses keep registers of goods sent abroad on consignment or call-off?
What liability rules apply?
How should call-off stocks and consignment stocks be reported in the VAT return of the sender and the receiver? What about Intrastat and quarterly sales listing obligations?
What are the obligations of the receiver of the call-off stocks and consignment stocks?
Or is transferring own goods still the preferred option even in case simplifications for call-off stocks or consignment stocks exist?

Logistics services: transport, storage etc.
by Marja van den Oetelaar (
The VAT Consultancy Firm B.V) And Peter Raes (THE VAT HOUSE)

Transport services, whether performed within one Member States, between Member States or to or from third countries, fall within the scope of article 44 of the EU VAT Directive in order to determine the place of supply. However, the concept of logistics services goes beyond the definition of transport services. Storage activities are an obvious example, but there may be others as well.
What is the impact of the use and enjoyment rules? In what countries do they apply to (certain) logistics services?
If logistics services are related to the exportation or importation of goods, to what extent are they exempt and what kind of exemption applies? And if they are not exempt, who is liable to pay the VAT?

Chain transactions with four parties
by Milan Vargan (Tax Systems) Marja van den Oetelaar (
The VAT Consultancy Firm B.V)

The provisions of VAT Directive 2006/112/EC determine the place of supply when goods are transported and when they are not. Furthermore, a simplification for triangular transactions is provided for cases where the goods are shipped from one Member State to another but sold twice, under well-defined conditions. But how should the conditions of the Directive be applied to chain transactions involving four parties registered in three different Member States? And what if those four parties are registered in four different Member States?
Since the provisions of the Directive are not clear on all these points, the ECJ has also intervened a couple of times to clarify chain transactions. The major cases in this respect are C-245/04, EMAG Handel Eder and C-430/09, Euro Tyre Holding. What is the impact of these cases on the treatment of chain transactions?

Deduction of VAT on intra-Community acquisitions and purchases under the reverse charge mechanism
by Tania Pavlova (Taxacta) and Wouter Baes (RFN).

In order to exercise the right to deduct VAT on the intra-Community acquisition of goods, a taxable person must provide all the information needed in the VAT return for the amount of VAT due on his intra-Community acquisitions of goods. The taxable person must also be in possession of valid invoices. For transfers of goods, the Member States can impose formalities for exercising the right to deduct the VAT.
To deduct VAT on purchases under the reverse charge mechanism, including the purchase of goods under simplified triangulation and domestic purchases under the reverse charge mechanism, the formalities must be complied with as imposed by each Member State.
In this respect, the ECJ ruled in the Bockemühl C-90/02 case that the power to impose formalities must be exercised to ensure the collection of VAT and its verification by the tax authority; the number or technical nature of these formalities must not make it practically impossible or excessively difficult to exercise the right to deduct.  
Furthermore, the ECJ also ruled in joined cases C‑95/07 and C‑96/07 (Ecotrade) that obligations arising from formalities laid down in national legislation and the obligations relating to accounts and tax returns cannot lead to the denial of the right to deduct in the case of a reverse charge procedure.

Skandia America ECJ Case: supplies to members of VAT group and the risks involved when recharging
by Patrick Wille (VAT Forum)

In the Skandia America Case (C-7/13), the ECJ concluded that the supply of services from a main establishment in a third country to its branch in a Member State who belongs to a VAT group constitutes a taxable transaction and that the purchaser of those services, becomes liable for the value added tax payable.
How far can this conclusion reach? Why was the root of the transaction, namely the recharging of services (FCE Bank Case C-210/04) not dealt with? What is the impact of this ECJ case when recharging costs within the group and to third parties?
Who is the actual receiver of the service if the invoice is addressed to the head office, but the service is used (consumed) by a fixed establishment in another country. What if this service is recharged by the head office to the fixed establishment?  How to apply the place of the supply and liability rules for VAT?

Substantive vs Formal requirements  
by Alexis Tsielepis (Chelco VAT)

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has long rejected the notion that businesses can be denied an exemption or a deduction due to not fully fulfilling formal requirements. The right to deduct constitutes a fundamental right of the taxpayer and cannot be limited where there is no indication of fraud. Tax authorities do not like this but in a series of ECJ judgments the court has confirmed their decision that deductions and exemptions must be permitted.
This workshop will examine a series of such ECJ decisions. Businesses should be aware of their rights and duties. What are the formal requirements and what are the substantive ones? What should businesses bear in mind when reviewing or setting up their business processes? For every case, the events leading to the dispute will be analysed and the reasoning of the ECJ will be fully explained.

Real-time online transfer of invoices in Hungary
by Ranetta Petrovácz (Petitum Kft)

Rules have been published for the real-time online transfer of invoices, which entered into force on 1 July 2018.
The new requirement applies to invoices charging HUF 100 000 or more Hungarian VAT. It is also possible for a taxable person to apply it voluntarily to all its invoices. The system only applies to invoices between taxable entities registered in Hungary.
A failure to fulfil the above requirements may involve penalties of up to HUF 500 000 per invoice.

VAT and Vouchers as from 1/1/2019
by Conceição Gamito (Vieira de Almeida) and Patrick Wille (VAT Forum)                    

Back in June 2016, the European Commission approved the Directive 2016/1065 as regards the treatment of vouchers, which will come in force as from January 2019. The changes will result in some vouchers being classified as ‘single-purpose vouchers’, which means that in future they will be taxed at the time of sale instead of the time of use. What are the new rules? What do you need to know to deal with this complex topic in the future?  “