Abuse of EU VAT Law

In 2006, the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) extended the doctrine of abuse of law to the area of VAT. The doctrine has the effect that, under specific circumstances, the tax authorities must ignore artificial transactions carried out in the framework of VAT-saving schemes. In this article, the author discusses the concepts of “tax advantage” and “tax advantages contrary to the purpose of VAT law”. The author concludes that there is a certain tension between, on the one hand, the principle of abuse of law and, on the other hand, the EU principle of legal certainty and the freedom for businesses to structure their activities so as to limit their tax liabilities.