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Simplified triangulation rules brought in line with VAT Directive

The simplified triangulation provisions apply to EU cross border supplies of goods, involving two subsequent supplies of goods between three parties that are established in three different EU memberstates and one single transportation of the goods, from the country of the first supplier to the country of the last purchaser.

Under the current Dutch VAT rules, if the middle party is established in the Netherlands and uses its Dutch VAT identification number, this party has to account for VAT on an intra-Community acquisition of goods in the Netherlands, which was -officialy- only refundable by way of filing a separate request. In practice, this VAT was usually included as deductible in the regular Dutch VAT return. However, from a recent ECJ ruling it is clear that this practice is not allowed. As a result, Dutch established middle parties involved in simplified triangular transactions are now obliged to file a separate refund request. This issue is caused by the fact that under the Dutch VAT Act, the middle party in these situations performs an intra-Community acquisition whereas this is not the case under EU VAT Directive.

The Dutch legislator has recognised this issue and has proposed solving it through an adjustment of the relevant provisions in the Dutch VAT Act, bringing them in line with the EU VAT Directive. This means that, if the proposal is accepted, from 1 January 2012 the middle party will no longer make an intra-Community acquisition in the Netherlands and therefore he will no longer have to reclaim VAT in this respect. The only remaining obligation for the middle party will be including the subsequent supply to the last party in an EU Sales Listing.

Jos Philips - HLB Van Daal & PartnersFor further information please contact: 

Mr. Jos Philips - VAT Advisor
HLB Van Daal & Partners
Pettelaarpark 100
5216 PR 's-Hertogenbosch
Phone: +31 (0)73 549 44 10
Fax: +31 (0)73 549 57 17
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


HLB Van Daal & Partners is an independent member firm of HLB International. Visit the firm's website:



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