This document is an excerpt from the EUR-Lex website
Euroopa Kohtu otsus, 15. oktoober 2002.
Euroopa Ühenduste Komisjon versus Saksamaa Liitvabariik.
Liikmesriigi kohustuste rikkumine - Kuues käibemaksu direktiiv.
Tax provisions - Harmonisation of laws - Turnover taxes - Common system of value added tax - Taxable amount - Sales promotion scheme involving, after purchase by the final consumer, reimbursement from the manufacturer on presentation of a voucher issued by the manufacturer - Intervention of one or more wholesalers in the distribution chain between the manufacturer and retailer - Taxable basis at the manufacturer's level constituted by the sale price charged by the manufacturer less the amount reimbursed
(Council Directive 77/388, Art. 11)
$$Where there is a system used by manufacturers to promote sales of their products whereby, on the one hand, retailers grant to final consumers a price reduction in exchange for vouchers issued by the manufacturer from whom they subsequently obtain reimbursement of their face value and, on the other hand, one or more wholesalers intervene in the distribution chain between the manufacturer and the retailers and vouchers are reimbursed directly by the manufacturer to the retailers without any intervention by the wholesalers, a Member State that does not adopt the measures necessary to allow adjustment of the taxable amount of the taxable person who has effected reimbursement where money off coupons are reimbursed fails to fulfil its obligations under Article 11 of Sixth Directive 77/388 on the harmonisation of the laws of the Member States relating to turnover taxes, in the version contained in Directive 95/7.
Since value added tax is intended to tax only the final consumer and is completely neutral as regards the taxable persons involved in the production and distribution process prior to the stage of final taxation, regardless of the number of transactions involved, the taxable amount serving as a basis for the tax to be collected by the tax authorities cannot exceed the consideration actually paid by the final consumer. Consequently, where a manufacturer issues money-off coupons giving rise, after purchase by the final consumer, to a reimbursement by that manufacturer to a retailer not directly connected to him in the distribution chain, the manufacturer's taxable amount is equal to the selling price charged by the manufacturer, less the amount indicated on the voucher and refunded.
Deduction from the taxable amount of reductions granted directly to the consumer by the initial supplier after delivery to a wholesaler or retailer do not disturb the value added tax system since there is no need to readjust the taxable amount for the intermediate transactions. For those transactions, observance of the principle of neutrality is ensured by application of the conditions for deduction set out in the Sixth Directive, which allows the intermediate links in the distribution chain to deduct from their own taxable amount the sums paid by each to his own supplier and thus to pass on to the tax authorities the part of the tax representing the difference between the price paid by each to his supplier and the price at which he supplied the goods to his purchaser. In those circumstances, reduction of the manufacturer's taxable amount cannot be made to depend on the subsequent alteration of the transactions effected by the intermediate links in the distribution chain, which are in no way concerned by the price reduction or the reimbursement of the value of the voucher or the invoices relating thereto.
( see paras 22-23, 28-29, 32-33, 42-43, 79, operative part 1 )