Paolo Soro

CBR: the EU test case for ruling requests

Several EU Member States have decided to start a test case with regard to the ruling policy, in cross-border situations (CBR).

EU Member States have eventually gotten a deal regarding common procedures in tax rulings. It is a test case, officially started on 1 June 2013 and expected to continue until 30 September 2018, that aims to receive requests and questions from taxable persons and companies involved in cross-border transactions.

The test case (CBR) concerns how Tax Authorities should treat those transactions for VAT purposes and what kind of cross-border ruling they believe would be beneficial for situations abiding the national VAT rules.

The requests, to be submitted to the Member State in which the taxable person /company is registered for VAT purposes, have to be in line with the conditions governing national VAT rulings of the Member States, and they have to be translated in the official language of the other Member State involved in the cross-border transaction.

In order for the decision process to begin, the requests submitted should have a detailed and clear description of the cross-border transaction and the opinion or doubts regarding the applicable VAT regime.

If the cross-border transaction involved more than one company, only one request should be submitted regarding the specific cross-border situation by only one company acting on behalf of all the other parties involved in the transaction.

By submitting such a request a taxable person / company accepts that the data provided can be shared between Tax Authorities of the Member States involved in the cross-border situation described in the request.

Consultations between competent authorities of the Member States involved will take place only if specifically requested by the taxable person / company in the request itself.

However, those consultations (as well as the respect of the requirements by the submitting entity (described above), do not imply an approval of the requested VAT treatment of the cross-border transactions, neither an acceptance of the cross-border ruling suggested.

Similarly, the respect of the demand requirements does not implicate an automatic consent.

In any case, the information notice of the European Commission (Directorate-general Taxation and Customs Union – Indirect Taxation and Tax Administration - Tax Administration and fight against tax fraud office), recommends:

Decisions will be taken as soon as possible”.

Practically, the request must be introduced in line with the conditions governing national VAT rulings in that Member State.

In spite of this, Member States may require that CBR requests are introduced in line with the conditions governing other types of requests for advice pursuant to local practices.

At present, the following Member States participate in this project (CBR): Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Estonia, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Hungary, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Requests for cross-border rulings should be sent to the following contact point, in Italy:

Settore Fiscalità Internazionale e agevolazioni

Direzione Centrale Normativa – Agenzia Delle Entrate Tel. +39 06 50545568

Taxable persons are invited to present their experiences and suggestions with regard to such VAT cross-border ruling requests, by sending to:

With reference: “CBR”.

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