On 8 May 2019, the European Court of Justice received questions from the German Bundesfinanzhof in case C-373/19 (Dubrovin & Tröger – Aquatics). The case deals with the question if swimming lessons could fall under the VAT exemption for educational services.
The following questions are submitted to the Court of Justice of the European Union for a preliminary ruling:
1. Does the concept of school and university tuition within the meaning of Article 132 (1) (i) and (j) of the VAT Directive also include the issue of swimming lessons?
2. Can the recognition of an institution within the meaning of Article 132 (1) (i) of the VAT Directive be regarded as a body similar to that of public-law bodies involved in the education of children and adolescents, school and university tuition, education and training as well as vocational retraining result from the fact that the instruction given by this institution is the acquisition of a basic elementary ability (here: swimming)?
3. If the second question is answered in the negative: does the tax exemption under Article 132 (1) (j) of the VAT Directive presuppose that the taxable person is a sole trader?
Note from editors: These questions seem a bit similar to the questions in case C-449/17 (A&G Fahrschul-Akademie GmbH), where it was asked if driving lessons were educational services. The ECJ decided in that case that driving lessons were not educational services.
Another similar case is C-47/19 (HA), where the ECJ is being asked if surfing and sailing lessons can be regarded educational services.