ECJ cases on the sale of land with the building intended to be demolished

On 4 September 2019, the ECJ decided (C-71/18 KPC Herning) on the VAT treatment of the sale of land and a building with the intention to demolish the building. The ECJ decided that the sale of the land and the building constitutes a taxable transaction exempted from VAT.

A similar case was decided back in 2009 (ECJ C-461/08 Don Bosco Onroerend Goed BV). The ECJ decided in this case that the sale of the land and building under demolition is a taxable transaction NOT exempted from VAT.

Typically, if the asset is considered as a building plot (land), it is deemed to be a taxable transaction without exemption. If considered as the sale of a building with land, the transaction is exempted from VAT.

The conclusion of comparing both cases:

  • To determine the VAT treatment, the intention of the buyer to demolish the building is not a decisive factor
  • The VAT exemption depends on (1) whether the building has already been demolished or is being demolished at the time of the sale and on
  • (2) whether the vendor or the buyer is paying for the demolition costs.

We attach a document with the comparison here:  Comparison KPC-Don Bosco ECJ cases v2019-09-09

This post is prepared by and is based on their own interpretation of ECJ cases C-71/18 KPC Herning and C-461/08 Don Bosco Onroerend Goed BV. This overview represents the view and experience of the author and is a service made available by It is for information purposes only. Although the author went to great lengths to make sure the information is accurate and useful, users and readers should not act on the basis of any matter used or presented without considering appropriate professional advice.


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