On 26 April 2018, the European Court of Justice (hereinafter referred to as „ECJ” or „the Court”) ruled in case C-81/17 on the possiblity to correct the information included in the VAT returns, altough these corrections are related to a period already audited by the tax authorities.
In fact, the company Zabrus Siret SRL (hereinafter referred to as “the Company”) was subject to a tax audit covering the period 1 May 2014 – 30 November 2014, finalized by the VAT audit report issued on 26 January 2015. Subsequently, on 25 May 2015, the Company submitted a VAT return for April 2015 whereby it requested the VAT reimbursement. One of the amounts requested for reimbursement was the result of a correction, after the conclusion of the tax audit, of an accounting note offsetting VAT for July 2014, and another amount came from corrections made in February 2015 with respect to transactions performed in 2014 for which the Company identified the relevant supporting documents, only after the conclusion of the tax audit.
The tax authorities took the view that the Company is not entitled to receive the VAT reimbursement related to the respective acquisitions on the ground that the amounts claimed are related to transactions carried out in a fiscal period which was already audited by the tax authorities.
According to ECJ, the VAT Directive precludes national legislation that, by way of derogation from the five-year limitation period imposed by national law for the correction of the VAT returns prevents a taxable person from making such a correction in order to claim its VAT deduction right on the sole ground that the correction relates to a period which was already audited by the tax authorities.