The Italian tax authorities have recently published a reply to a ruling request specifying what documents would be accepted as proof of an intra-EU transport of goods taking place.
This is so they might be eligible for the zero-rating that can apply to such supplies.
The ruling explained that, generally, a document such as an intra-EU sales invoice detailing certain transactional information would be sufficient evidence of intra-EU transport. This would be the case even without a CMR (transport document for goods delivered by road) or a DDT (transport document) signed by the recipient.
Such a document contains transactional data such as the EU recipient’s details; the Intra-EU sales invoice ID number; and the dates of the invoice, the DDT and delivery.
The Italian tax authorities further specified that for a company to rely on this document as proof of intra-EU transport, the document must:
- Set out the different parties to the transaction and give the required information for the underlying transaction; and
- Be stored with any related contracts, sales invoices, Intrastat forms and other miscellaneous documents.
This clarification pre-empts the coming into effect of the EU cross-border simplification rules that will provide for the harmonisation across the EU as to what constitutes proof of an intra-EU supply eligible for VAT exemption.
Coming into effect from 2020 , these EU cross-border transaction simplification rules, otherwise known as the “quick fixes”, aim to make life simpler for businesses involved in international trade within the current VAT system.
Since this issue is of great concern to businesses, we expect to see more EU Member States publishing similar guidance as 2020 draws closer. At Accordance we are monitoring the progress of these initiatives and will report updates as they unfold.