European Union – Value added tax. European Union law should be interpreted as meaning that it precluded national legislation which denied the benefit of the right to claim a refund of VAT to the taxpayer, where the taxpayer had paid VAT charged to it several years after delivery of the goods in question, on the grounds that the limitation period provided for by that legislation for the exercise of that right began to run from the date of supply and had expired before the application for a refund had been submitted. The Court of Justice so held in a preliminary ruling in proceedings concerning the Finance Directorate of the Slovak Republic's partial refusal of Volkswagen AG's application for a refund of VAT due to the expiry of the limitation period.