Intra-Community exemption does not require VAT number

The Court established, that the requirements for the purchaser to have the VAT number and to be registered in the VIES system are not essential conditions for the application of 0% VAT rate to the intra-Community supply of goods.

The Court stated, that the purchaser should be a taxable person, who independently carries out in any place an economic activity, whatever the purpose or results of that activity, are without the condition that the purchaser should have the VAT code.

Therefore, if essential conditions of the VAT Directive are fulfilled (i.e. the right to dispose of the goods as owner has been transferred to the purchaser and the goods physically left the territory of the Member State of supply), and there is no sound evidence pointing to the existence of fraud, the tax authorities cannot refuse to apply exemption to the intra-Community supply of goods.

According to Article 49, part 1 of the Lithuanian VAT law, as a mandatory condition for the application of the 0% VAT rate is to be registered for VAT purposes in another EU Member State. However, the Court established, that possession of VAT number is not obligatory (not essential requirement) and the application of 0% VAT rate should not be refused solely on the grounds, that the purchaser does not have a VAT number in the VIES system.

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