As a rule procedures before the Federal Court and the Federal Administrative Court take less than a year. Nonetheless, unfortunately it can still happen that the courts have to judge cases that are more than 10 years old. The bottleneck is the Federal Tax Administration (FTA). In this case it took the FTA 4 years before in June 2013 it rejected the appeal raised in 2009.
Specifically the question was whether a firm of lawyers had to deliver VAT on business fees invoiced in the years 2003 to 2008. The firm argued that the services had been rendered by a lawyer as an employee and therefore did not have to be taxed by the firm. Based on Commercial Register extracts the lawyer was Manager or a member of management of various GmbHs. But the invoices for „business fees“ were all issued in the name of the firm of lawyers. Following consistent judgments from the highest instances this fact leads to the assumption that from a VAT aspect the firm of lawyers and not the individual lawyer had rendered the relevant services. In addition the GmbHs had paid their fees to the firm and not to the lawyer personally. This clearly does not support self-employment by the lawyer.
This judgment demonstrates that in VAT law invoices are accorded key importance. They are not only accounting vouchers, but also constitute important evidence that a taxable turnover was realised and that it was generated by the issuer of the invoice.