Cost sharing associations as an alternative to VAT grouping in Belgium

Businesses in Member States, such as Belgium which have not availed themselves of the option to apply grouping for VAT purposes, are, in particular if they are not entitled to full input tax deduction, able to effectively reduce their VAT costs by using the instrument of cost sharing associations instead. In this article, the author analyses the exemption for cost sharing associations from a Belgian perspective, including its ratio legis, legal framework, definition, scope, and the conditions under which it applies. He also examines the concept of cost sharing associations from Community perspective, which gives rise to an intriguing question.