Indirect Taxation of Events Beyond the Control of the Taxpayer in Crucial Tax and Customs Judgements of the Court of Justice
KeywordsVAT, excise duties, customs duties, scope of taxation, awareness
Indirect taxes are shaped in such a way that the final customers bear their economic burden. The scope of taxation is usually delineated to cover all goods (and services) reaching the afore-mentioned final consumers. One may assume that the aim of a lawmaker is that goods (or services) supplied to the consumers should not remain untaxed. However, the intensity of pursuing this aim differs between VAT, excise duties, and customs duties. A scientific question that the rules outlined above bring about is whether it is acceptable – under the general principles of the European Union law perceived through a number of tax (customs) cases – to impose duties on a person or to deprive a taxpayer of rights owing to tax-relevant facts that have been entirely out of the control of this person or this taxpayer (customs debtor). Although the position of the Court of Justice towards this issue is not homogenous, the author of this article claims that situations that are wholly beyond the scope of control of a diligent person should not affect the tax (customs) situation to the detriment of such a person.
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