Treatment of Outsourced Elements of Payment Transactions under EU VAT

In this article, the author comments on two recent ECJ judgments, in Axa and Everything Everywhere, on the VAT treatment of services relating to transfers and payments. The author puts them in the perspective of previous ECJ case law and pending new EU VAT legislation. Financial institutions had hoped to find in these judgments an answer to the question of how activities outsourced by them must be treated for VAT purposes but the ECJ has not given any further explanation of the scope of the VAT exemption for transactions concerning transfers and payments.