The Supreme Administrative Court (“SAC”) has ruled that the supply of internally produced services by a foreign head-office to its Swedish branch, which was a member of a VAT group, is subject to VAT and that the VAT group is liable to account for the VAT payable.
The SAC found that the branch had disassociated itself from its head-office by joining the VAT group and consequently formed a part of another taxable person for VAT purposes. Following this logic, the SAC ruled that the services supplied by the head-office should therefore be considered as supplied to the VAT group in accordance with the CJEU ruling in Skandia America Corp C-7/13. The SAC stated that the cost allocation that had been applied meant that the services were supplied for a consideration, and as such the head-office had made a supply of services for VAT purposes. To the extent the services supplied were subject to VAT, the VAT group was liable to account for the VAT due under the reverse charge mechanism.
The SAC’s ruling follows the principle expressed by the CJEU in the Skandia case. Even though the judgment has clarified the VAT treatment from a Swedish perspective on a couple of issues, both the judgment and the Skandia case raise a number of questions that should be analyzed further in order to determine the VAT consequences of head-office and branch transactions.
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