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Public tax ruling of the Minister of Finance on fuel cards

2021-03-10

On February 15, 2021, the Minister of Finance, Development Funds and Regional Policy issued a public ruling no. PT9.8101.3.2020 on a proper qualification for VAT purposes of fuel card transactions executed in a tripartite model as a supply of goods or provision of services.

In the ruling, the Minister of Finance indicated the conditions whose fulfilment will help decide whether provision of fuel cards in a tripartite transaction constitutes a supply of goods or provision of services. The ruling takes into account the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union in the case C-235/18 Vega International regarding the classification of fuel card transactions.  

In transactions involving the use of fuel cards, one variant is that of a tripartite transaction. Under this model, an intermediary entity provides the customer (recipient) with fuels cards of which it is not an issuer. The recipient purchases goods by means of fuel cards from a third party (supplier) operating a fuel station. It is crucial to qualify properly the work of the intermediary entity as it determines the right to deduct input VAT resulting from invoices documenting the purchase of fuel received from the supplier.

The public ruling set out four conditions which must be met in a direct relationship between the supplier and the recipient for the intermediary entity’s actions to be qualified as provision of services to the latter. These conditions are as follows:

  • Goods are purchased by the recipient (cardholder) directly from the suppliers;
  • Decisions are made only by the recipient, in particular about the methods of purchasing the goods (choosing the place of purchase), the quantity and quality of the goods, the time of purchase and the way of using the goods;
  • The recipient (excluding the intermediary entity) incurs all costs related to the purchase of goods;
  • The intermediary entity’s role is restricted  to making the financial instrument available to the recipient for the purchases of the goods.

The cumulative fulfilment of the abovementioned premises results in the supplier having the goods at its disposal as owner and thus being the sole entity in the tripartite transaction to supply the goods. In this case, the activity of the intermediary between the supplier and the recipient of the goods, consisting in the provision of fuel cards, should be qualified as the provision of services of a financial nature.

 

Jakub Janicki, Tax Consultant,  ATA Tax Sp. z o.o.

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