Omvänd skattskyldighet inom byggsektorn : Gränsdragning avseende förvärvarens status

by Ekström, Åsa; Mellberg, Martina

Abstract (Summary)
Reverse charge is, since 1 July 2007, applicable in the construction sector. The application comprises the supply of construction services and thus, all delivery of goods is excluded. Only services which, from a general point of view, appear to be construction services fall within the scope of application of reverse charge. Reverse charge mean that the taxable person to whom the supply of services is made is the person liable for Value Added Tax (VAT) instead of the supplier. The purpose of reverse charge is to preclude tax evasion in contractor chains where dishonest contractors supply others with false invoices to serve as a basis for deduction of input VAT. The penalty for not applying reverse charge when obligated is tax fine.The wording of the requisite of the law is remarkably vague. In order for reverse charge to be applicable, the taxable person to whom the construction services are supplied must himself, more than temporarily, supply such services or be a taxable person who supplies such services to such taxable person. The unclear wording, in combination with the lack of case law on the subject, has led to considerable difficulty to determine whether to apply reverse charge or not in borderline cases. Establishing boundaries is necessary when determining whether a transaction constitutes sale of goods or supply of services, construction services or other services as well as when determining what constitutes temporarily respectively more than temporarily supplies of construction services. If a taxable person who supplies construction services changes his business and thus ceases to supply such services, an additional assessment on how long after the change of business the taxable person should be considered to supply construction services must be made. The uncertain conditions also raise the question whether there is a mutual obligation between parties to inform each other of their status when supplying and purchasing constructing services. Swedish Tax Authorities have become the leading maker of guidelines for the application of reverse charge in the construction sector. This is a task best left to the courts.This paper considers problems which emerge because of the wording of the requisites. In turn, these problems lead to an increased level of administration as well as to wrongly collected VAT. It should be noticed, that from the aspect of legal certainty, the individual has very little ability to foresee the taxation consequences of a transaction. Therefore the individual may tend to apply reverse charge to be on the safe side, rather than because it has been established that the transaction fall within the scope of application of reverse charge. This legal uncertainty is the most notable consequence of the wording of the requisites.The aim of this paper is to examine the actual meaning of the law, analyse the problems resulting from the insufficient wording of the requisites, as well as presenting possible guidelines on what should be considered as more than temporarily supplies of construction services. The guidelines aim to facilitate the conclusion on whether or not reverse charge is applicable. Possible grounds of assessment for determining when a taxable person should be considered to more than temporarily supply construction services are regularity, the extent of the construction service, as well as the value of the construction service in comparison to the overall turnover. The grounds of assessment are influenced by the application of reverse charge in German law and by one of the few guiding principles presented by the Swedish Tax Authorities concerning the meaning of the expression more than temporarily.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Högskolan i Jönköping

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:value added tax reverse charge construction sector service work establishing boundaries more than temporarily


Date of Publication:06/23/2008

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