The Federal Commercial Court of the Moscow District (the “FCC”) considered a dispute between the tax inspectorate and a company regarding the possibility of the latter deducting VAT under a "late" VAT invoice.

In 2002 the company recorded an amount in the purchase ledger evidenced by a facsimile copy of the VAT invoice dated 2005. The original VAT invoice was received by the company in 2009 and in that year the company submitted a revised tax declaration in which it claimed deduction of VAT under the above VAT invoice.

The tax inspectorate decided that the company had no right to claim a VAT revision under the VAT invoice dated 2005 and received by the company after the three year period.

In rendering a decision against the tax authority, the FCC stipulated that the VAT invoice is the basis for the buyer to deduct VAT amounts declared by the seller. In other words, the taxpayer’s right to a tax deduction arises upon receipt of the VAT invoice. Thus the appeal of the tax authority was rejected.

The court’s conclusions give taxpayers the possibility of justifying tax deductions even if a long period of time has passed. That said, the right to a deduction in such cases depends on a series of concurring factual circumstances which must be analyzed and considered by taxpayers in advance.

[Ruling of the Federal Commercial Court of the Moscow District, dated 6 December 2012, regarding case No. А41-31731/11]