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ECJ case C-520/19 (Armostav Mistek) – Judgment (Order) – Input VAT recovery by person held liable for missing tax in a fraudulent chain

On 14 November 2019, the European Court of Justice issued its Order in C-520/19 (Armostav Mistek).

The question raised in this case was:

Does the existence of express national legislation relating to [joint and several] liability for missing tax in a fraudulent chain preclude tax administration authorities from refusing the person held liable under that legislation the right to deduct value added tax in accordance with the case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union on VAT fraud? Is such a practice in that situation precluded by Article 17(1), Article 20, Article 52(1), Article 52(6), and Article 54 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union?

The ECJ decided that it would not process this case, as the Czech court provided insufficient information.  The order is only available in French and Czech at the moment, but please find an unofficial summary translation below:

  • Under Article 53 (2) of the Rules of Procedure, where a reference for a preliminary ruling is manifestly inadmissible, the Court, having heard the Advocate General, may at any time decide to give a decision by reasoned order, without continue the procedure.
  • That provision must be applied in the present case.
  • .. requires that it defines the factual and regulatory framework in which the questions it asks or that, at least, it explains the factual assumptions on which these questions are based
  • In the present case, the order for reference clearly does not meet the requirements
  • In addition to the fact that the facts which led to the disputed VAT adjustment are not described, even briefly, there are also no reasons why the national court is questioning the interpretation of the law.

Source: Curia (French version, not available in English)