Tag Archives: EU

EU – ECJ ruled Bitcoin exchange services to be VAT exempt

The Court of Justice of the European Union delivered its judgment earlier today in the long-awaited case on whether Bitcoin exchange services are considered to be VAT exempt services. The Court followed the earlier opinion of the Advocate General and confirmed that the exchange of Bitcoins into conventional currencies and vice versa in return for a exchange commission falls within the VAT exemption for transactions concerning currency, bank notes and coins used as legal tender provided by the European VAT Directive.

This judgment was made on the grounds that Bitcoin (as a virtual) currency has no other purpose than to be a means of payment and that it is accepted for that purpose by certain operations.

You can access the judgement here.

EU – Advocate General Opinion – Bitcoin dealing VAT-free as currency exchange?

ECJ Advocate General Kokott has recommended the Court to consider dealing in bitcoins for a commission to be a service exempt from VAT under the currency dealing provision (link – to the German version of the opinion. In English it is not yet available) .

A Swedish dealer in bitcoins (buying and selling bitcoins in exchange for Swedish kroner) was in dispute with the tax office over the VAT liability on the currency exchange. He maintained that he was providing a VAT exempt service of currency exchange, whereas the tax office disputed the point because bitcoins are not legal tender. It was also pointed out that bitcoins are not subject to any form of government supervision or control and offer no guarantee of continued usefulness to the holder. Find out more

EU Commission – revamped Taxation and Customs website

The EU Commission recently updated its Taxation and Customs Union website, which now offers a way better overview. At first sight it also seems that you need to spend less time on researching the website for what you are looking for and it provides easier access to information. You can check the VAT section here, including a good repository of all documents relating to the B2C 2015 changes.

EU – VAT Committee issued its Working Paper on the scope of the notion of electronically supplied services

The Belgian tax authorities submitted questions to the VAT Committee regarding the notion of electronically supplied services as referred to in the EU VAT Directive and the Implementing Regulation, the possible interaction of this type of services with other services and the issue of VAT exemption of such services.

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EU 2015 VAT Changes – Results of PwC’s 2015 Impact and Readiness Survey

As indicated at our recent B2C 2015 work group event in Brussels PwC recently conducted a “2015 Impact and Readiness Survey” for which we invited businesses from across all sectors (telecom, broadcasting and eservice providers) and all geographical regions.We launched this survey with the aim of gathering data on the impact of the EU 2015 VAT changes on affected businesses. The survey also testes how ready businesses feel to be able to deal with the imminent changes.

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ECJ Decision (K Oy): VAT rate for non-printed books can only differ if they meet different needs for consumers

On 11 September 2014, the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) gave its decision in K Oy regarding the question whether reduced rates for printed books should equally be applied to books published on another medium, or whether different VAT rates can be justified (case C-219/13 – click link) .

The Court has ruled that a selective application of the reduced VAT rates to printed books is not justified unless the printed books meet different needs for consumers as compared to books published on ‘other physical means of support’ (i.e. CD, DVD, USB stick).

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EU 2015 VAT Changes: EU Commission published Explanatory Notes on the new VAT rules

On 4 April, the European Commission has published Explanatory Notes to prepare businesses for the new VAT rules for telecom, broadcasting and electronic services, which will enter into force on 1 January 2015.

The aim is to help businesses to be fully prepared on time for the change-over, whereby VAT on telecom, broadcasting and electronic services will be charged where the customer is based, rather than where the seller is.

The Explanatory Notes are available on the EU Commission’s website in English (click link). (It will later be translated in all EU languages, as well as in Chinese and Japanese.)

We will discuss the key provisions and critical issues of the EU Commission’s Explanatory Notes with businesses, delegates of the Member States and the Commission during our next B2C 2015 Working Group meeting in Brussels, on 23 April 2014.