The VAT Treatment of Holding Companies – German and EU VAT Practice Perspective

Although the VAT treatment of holding companies has been the subject of several ECJ decisions over the past 25 years, it is still a controversial issue and thus turns out to be a never-ending story. Two new cases recently referred by the Federal German Tax Court to the ECJ might provide further clarification regarding the entitlement to input VAT deduction for holding companies. Both cases concerned holding companies that had incurred input VAT in relation to limited partnerships to which they rendered management services for consideration. On 26 March 2015, the opinion of Advocate General Mengozzi in the joined cases of Beteiligungsgesellschaft Larentia + Minerva mbH & Co. KG and Marenave Schiffahrts AG was published. In this article, the authors analyse the ongoing discussions with respect to the input VAT deduction of holding companies in Germany and comment in particular on the opinion of the Advocate General from the perspective of German and EU VAT practice.