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Formal errors in invoices and deduction of input Spanish VAT

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Certain formal errors in an invoice should not prevent the deduction of input VAT in Spain


In a judgement dated 15-07-2010 (case C-368/09), the Court ruled that national authorities cannot exceed the provisions set forth by Directive 2006/112, regulating VAT. In the case examined, the Court studies the requirements that an invoice must fulfil for the deductibility of input VAT to be accepted. We must not forget that VAT is an outstandingly formal tax, and this means that, very often, overly untrusting tax authorities can prevent input VAT from being deducted for the most insignificant formal errors found.

The purpose of this EU Court judgement is to remind national authorities that they must accept the deduction of input VAT even in the case that the relevant invoices were rectified due to the fact that a wrong date was stated in relation to the rendering of services, or that the numbering of new invoices was not consecutive. In short, VAT can never be an expense for companies (it must be a neutral tax for companies) and this means that VAT formalities should never alter the deductible nature of input VAT.

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