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Issue No. 3 - 2017 of the International VAT Monitor is now available online.

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Number 3 - 2017 contains the following:

US Border Adjustment Tax, a New VAT in Town?

Werner Engelen


The End of Cost Sharing as We Know It?

Redmar Wolf

Two recent Opinions of the ECJ’s AG Kokott seem to herald the end of the cost sharing exemption as we know it. In her recent Opinions in Aviva and DNB Banka AG Kokott indeed endorses a limited scope of application for the exemption provided for in Article 132(1)(f) of the VAT Directive. For many VAT practitioners, and also for Member States and the European Commission, this interpretation will come as a surprise. Moreover, in an even more recent Opinion in Commission v. Germany AG Wathelet contradicts some of AG Kokott’s findings and instead advocates a broad scope for the exemption. It is now up to the ECJ to decide, but should the ECJ concur with AG Kokott, the current use of the cost sharing exemption is up for a thorough revision.

The Devil Is in the Detail: An Analysis of the ECJ’s Attributes to the Fixed Establishment Concept

Alexis Tsielepis

There is a lack of harmonized guidance concerning the definition of “fixed establishment” for VAT purposes. As a result, this important concept is being interpreted differently across EU Member States, causing both commercial uncertainty and situations resulting in double or non-taxation. In this article, the author examines the definition of the fixed establishment arising from EU legislation and ECJ judgments.

VAT and Directors’ Fees in the Benelux

Stein De Maeijer, Stijn Vastmans, Valérie Bidoul, Joël Wessels and Dirk Evers

The VAT Directive does not clearly address the question of the VAT treatment of directors’ fees, and recent developments in Dutch, Belgian and Luxembourg VAT legislation have emphasized the lack of harmonization on that question among the EU Member States. In this article, the authors outline the VAT treatment of directors’ fees in the Benelux. Using some real-life examples, they subsequently show how differences in the VAT treatment of directors’ fees in practice result in an increasing level of legal uncertainty for companies and directors.


Immovable Property – Increased Harmonization Regarding Place of Supply

Jordi Sol

On 26 October 2015, the European Commission published explanatory notes on the new VAT place of supply rules for services connected with immovable property which were recently introduced by implementing regulation 1042/2013 and entered into effect on 1 January 2017. This article analyses the new definition of “immovable property” and discusses, in particular, the question of when a service should be considered to be connected with it. Special focus is given to property management, intermediation and legal services connected to immovable property

A Proposal for the Development and Testing of a Diagnostic Tool for Assessing VAT Compliance Costs
Richard Highfield, Michael Walpole and Chris Evans

Over the last two decades, many governments have sought to take stock of the burden generally imposed by their regulations, especially in relation to taxes imposed on businesses, and to identify and adopt measures to reduce the costs of complying with such regulations. In many countries, the VAT has been found, or is perceived, to be among the most burdensome of all taxes on business. This article sets out the design features of a proposed diagnostic tool for gauging the likely incidence and significance of VAT compliance costs at the country level and its use in comparative cross-country assessments as a means of driving thinking about reform.


Reports from: Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Bhutan, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burundi, Canada, China (People’s Rep.), Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, El Salvador, Estonia, European Union, France, Gabon, Greece, Guyana, Iceland, India, Isle of Man, Italy, Jersey, Kenya, Kosovo, Maldives, Moldova, Monaco, New Zealand, Nigeria, OECD, Poland, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, Spain, Swaziland, Taiwan, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and Uruguay.


Case notes from: Austria, Brazil, Canada and United Kingdom.

Judgments in cases: C-217/15, C-390/15, C-493/15, C-573/15 and C-211/16; Opinions in cases: C-132/16 and C-616/15; Preliminary rulings in cases: C-566/16, C-580/16, C-628/16, C-648/16, C-660/16, C-661/16, C-664/16, C-665/16, C-672/16, C-5/17 and C-8/17.