The application of the VAT exemption for intra-Community supplies is, among other things, subject to the provision by the supplier of the VAT identification number of his customer.
However, following the CJEU case VSTR (C-587/10), the Belgian VAT authorities have adjusted their point of view and decided that the grant of the VAT exemption cannot be refused on the sole ground that the above requirement was not fulfilled, provided that certain conditions are simultaneously met.
The conditions to benefit from this administrative tolerance are set forth in administrative decision E.T. 123.179:
- The supplier must act in good faith, which implies, among other things, that he must have taken all the measures which can be reasonably required from him to obtain the VAT identification number of the other contract party (‘co-contractor’);
- The supplier must be able to provide other information which demonstrates sufficiently that the person acquiring the goods is a taxable person acting as such in the transaction at issue.
Should you have any questions in this respect, please contact your regular PwC VAT adviser or one of us.