The ECJ’s Interpretation of VAT Exemptions

Under the EU VAT Directive, only specific activities are exempt from VAT. Exemptions are exceptions to the general principle that all supplies of goods or services are subject to VAT, and the ECJ has reiterated on several occasions that exemptions must be interpreted strictly. In this article, the author discusses the ECJ’s approach to the exemption for sports in Canterbury Hockey, and concludes that the ECJ has actually interpreted that exemption very broadly.