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Federal Court of Finance (BFH) simplifies input tax deduction of invoices for companies

The Federal Court of Finance abandoned its previous jurisdiction with judgements from 21 June 2018 VR25/15 and VR28/16 and decided that it is no longer necessary for invoices to state a place where the entrepreneur carries out his business activity. Therefore, for input tax deduction, an invoice must only include an address where the company providing the service can be contacted by post.

In the first case, the claimant purchased vehicles from a sole trader that traded online without running a car dealership. He issued invoices to the claimant which included the address where he could be contacted by post.

In the second case, the claimant, a company, purchased steel scrap from a GmbH (“Limited” company). The domicile of the GmbH according to the commercial register was stated as the address on the invoices. However, a law firm was in fact located at that address and an employee of the GmbH occasionally used a desk there. The landline and fax number used by the GmbH belonged to the law firm, which acted as the registered address for additional firms. The Federal Court of Finance affirmed the input tax deduction as a location that can be contacted by post is sufficient and fulfils the requirements.

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