D&B David si Baias lawyers obtain landmark judgment of European Court of Justice in legal proceedings to grant tax-related interest to Rafinaria Steaua Romana

The European Court of Justice confirmed today the interpretation of D&B David si Baias lawyers in Rafinaria Steaua Romana vs. ANAF case, ruling that, in the light of Community law, taxpayers should be awarded interest where the tax body fails to pay VAT refunds, even if the refundable amounts were offset under set off decisions subsequently annulled by the courts.

By its Judgment pronounced on 24 October 2013 in the C-431/12 case, the European Court of Justice answered the preliminary ruling referred by the High Court of Cassation of Justice at the request of   Rafinaria Steaua Romana SA, represented by D&B David si Baias law firm, validating the arguments brought by D&B David si Baias lawyers, and ruled that, „ when the refund to the taxable person of the excess VAT is not made within a reasonable period, the principle of fiscal neutrality of the VAT system requires that the financial losses incurred by the taxable person owing to the unavailability of the sums of money at issue are compensated through the payment of default interest. In the light of those considerations, the answer to the question is that Article 183 of the VAT Directive must be interpreted as precluding a situation in which a taxable person, having made a claim for a refund of excess input VAT over the VAT which it is liable to pay, cannot obtain from the tax authorities of a Member State default interest on a refund made late by those authorities in respect of a period during which administrative measures precluding the refund, which were subsequently annulled by a court ruling, were in force”.

„This judgment represents a landmark in the relationship between the taxpayer and the tax authorities in Romania. Since our country’s accession to the European Union the Romanian taxpayers have available an ultimate recourse – the European case law and courts – when they see their rights are being infringed by the national tax authorities”, stated Dan Dascalu, Partner, D&B David si Baias, leader of the tax litigation team and coordinator of the team of lawyers involved in this case file.

The team of lawyers who ensured the success in this case was led by Dan Dascalu – Partner, D&B David si Baias, being composed of Ana Maria Iordache and Andreea Cojocaru, lawyers specializing in tax litigation.