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ECJ Case C-745/18 (Skarb Państwa) – Questions – Services of liquidator / trustee / curator (case removed from register)

UPDATE: The President of the Court has ordered that the case be removed from the register.  See here.

The European Court of Justice received question in case C-745/18 (Skarb Państwa) on 23 January 2019. The case concerns the VAT treatment of the services of a liquidator (or trustee, or curator).

Unofficial translation

Facts (simplified):

“JA”, the requesting party, held the office of liquidator of the insolvent estate of Stalchemak steelworks in Siedlce (Poland) and received a fee set by the bankruptcy judge. JA did not enter VAT records and did not pay VAT on the compensation it received.

The Polish tax authorities levied VAT, thereby arguing that the activities of a liquidator are an economic activity, on which VAT is due.

The present proceedings concern the claimant’s claim, JA, to order the defendant, the Skarb Państwa (Treasury), to pay PLN 77.023,69 for the damage which it has suffered as a result of the failure to adopt legal provisions before 23 July 2011 that provide for the payment of compensation to the trustees in bankruptcy, plus the value added tax (VAT) that is due.

At the stage of the cassation proceedings before the Sąd Najwyższy (Polish court), it remains a matter of debate, for example, whether the defendant was required under EU law from 1 May 2004, that is to say from the date on which the Republic of Poland acceded to the European Union, to implement a regulation that provides for the increase of the compensation of the liquidators with VAT.

Preliminary questions

The Polish court asks the following questions to the ECJ:

Must Article 73 and Article 78 (a) of the VAT Directive be interpreted as requiring Member States which acceded to the European Union on 1 May 2004 to adopt rules which provide for the grant of a compensation to the trustees in bankruptcy, plus the value added tax (VAT) on this?

Source: MinBuza (Dutch)