Abuse of EU VAT law in Part Service

In its judgment in Part Service, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) confirmed that the principle prohibiting abuse of law is intended to ensure, particularly in the field of VAT, that Community legislation is not extended to cover abusive practices by economic operators, that is to say transactions carried out not in the context of their normal commercial activities, but mainly for the purpose of wrongfully obtaining advantages provided for by Community law. In this article, the author discusses the concept of abuse of law and its application in relation to, inter alia, schemes aimed at spreading the burden of non-deductible VAT over a longer period of time, splitting and merger of packages of services and "lease funding".