Italmoda: Does the EU VAT Directive Become the Source of Individuals’ Obligations?

In its judgment in Italmoda, the ECJ presented the highly controversial view that the Sixth Directive must be interpreted as meaning that it is for the national authorities and courts to refuse a taxable person, in the context of an intra-Community supply, the benefit of the rights to deduction of, exemption from or refund of VAT, even in the absence of provisions of national law allowing such refusal, if it is established, in the light of objective factors, that that taxable person knew, or should have known, that by the transaction relied on as a basis for the right concerned it was participating in VAT evasion committed in the context of a chain of supplies. In this article, the author believes that some of the views presented in the said judgment cannot be upheld.