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R v Generalbundesanwalt beim Bundesgerichtshof

In R v Generalbundesanwalt beim Bundesgerichtshof (ECJ Case C-285/09) a Portuguese citizen (R) managed a German company trading in luxury cars. From 2002 R manipulated the company’s accounts by drafting false invoices from fictitious purchasers to allow his Portuguese distributors to commit VAT fraud by concealing the names of their final purchasers. All of the transactions were declared in Germany as intra-Community supplies and therefore as exempt from VAT in Germany. The fictitious purchasers were all registered in Portugal for VAT; some had consented to the use of their name and VAT registration number while others were unaware of it. R was convicted of tax evasion and sentenced to three years’ imprisonment. He appealed contending that there had been a genuine intra-Community supply and that the transactions were exempt from VAT. The German court referred the case to the ECJ for a ruling on whether exemption...

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