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Sea Chefs Cruise Services GmbH v Ministre de L’Action et des Comptes publics

In Sea Chefs Cruise Services GmbH v Ministre de L’Action et des Comptes publics (Case C-133/18) (2 May 2019) the CJEU found that a cross-border trader does not lose its right to a refund of VAT simply because he has failed to supply the relevant information within the deadline set by Directive 2008/9/CE art 20. 

Sea Chefs was a German company. It had claimed a VAT refund in September 2015. In December 2015 the French tax authority requested more information by email. Sea Chefs did not respond within the statutory one month deadline and its claim was rejected. Sea Chefs contended that this refusal was in breach of the principles of neutrality and proportionality and that it should still be allowed to produce the documents. 

The CJEU noted that the right to claim back VAT is a fundamental part of the VAT system and that it should not be limited....

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