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Direct Claim for Refund of Incorrectly Paid VAT: Legal Implications and Practical Considerations

  • If a recipient of services has paid too much value-added tax to the service provider due to an invoice according to § 14c UStG, the recipient must generally seek reimbursement of this amount from the service provider through civil law.
  • If the recipient is unable to enforce this civil law claim or if it is excessively difficult, they have a claim against their tax authority for payment of the VAT amount
  • the so-called direct claim.
  • A recipient of an invoice with wrongly stated VAT can demand repayment from the tax authority through a direct claim if reclaiming from the issuer is excessively difficult.
  • The tax authority’s practice of waiting for the conclusion of insolvency proceedings does not ensure the neutrality of VAT and the effectiveness of European law.


Note that this post was (partially) written with the help of AI. It is always useful to review the original source material, and where needed to obtain (local) advice from a specialist.


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