VAT: Commission v Germany (C-616/15) – AGO – cost sharing exemption

VAT: Commission v Germany (C-616/15) – AGO

This Advocate General’s Opinion suggests that the cost sharing exemption may not solely be restricted to members with activities in the public interest.

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This case concerns Germany’s domestic application of the cost sharing exemption under Article 132(1)(f) of the VAT Directive. German rules limit the exemption to supplies of services by cost sharing groups whose members are either doctors or health professionals and hospitals or establishments similar to hospitals. This is one of four ongoing cases concerning the cost sharing exemption. The other three, (Commission v Luxembourg (C-274/15), Aviva (C-605/15) and DNB Banka (C-326/15), have seen Opinions delivered by Advocate General (AG) Kokott. Her suggested responses have given a very narrow scope to the exemption, including the view in the latter two that the exemption only applies to supplies to members whose activities are covered by the public interest exemptions. In the current case the AG noted the imperfections in the wording of the VAT Directive but was of the Opinion that the exemption under Article 132(1)(f) may not be restricted to members with activities in the public interest.

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Marc Brent

John Rippon

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