Provision of fuel cards – CJEU judgement

On the 15 of May 2019 Court of Justice of the European Union announced its judgement regarding provision of fuel cards. The case covered by the judgment concerned the Austrian company Vega International, issuing fuel cards for, among others, drivers of the Polish subsidiary Vega Poland. Vega International was receiving invoices from the Polish suppliers for the fuel with the VAT charged and reinvoiced them to Vega Poland. Polish tax administration refused to refund the VAT to Vega International. Finally the case was resolved by the CJEU. The court found that the card issuer, Vega International, provides VAT exempt loan services. It is not entitled to dispose of the goods as if it was the owner so it cannot carry supply of the goods. Fuel was purchased by the card user, Vega Poland, directly from fuel concerns. The fuel cards allow only to pay for the fuel on special terms.

CJEU ruled that Vega International therefore provides financial services to Vega Poland, financing the purchase of fuel in advance. Thus the transaction should be recognized as service granting credit which is exempt from value added tax.