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Public Broadcasting Services and VAT: Some Issues to Be Solved

By Marcos Alvarez Suso (Spanish Tax Administration)

In a prior blog, the author highlighted some of the most frequent debates arising from VAT and the public bodies’ activities or, more generally, the activities subsidised by public bodies.

One key point for establishing whether public bodies’ activities must be subject to VAT or not relates to the aim of preventing distortions of competition that may arise where similar economic activities are carried out by private operators, being these privately performed activities subject to VAT.

One remarkable example of the potential distortions of competition in this regard is the provision of public broadcasting services. The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) will decide in 2021 a crucial pending case regarding these activities, which is expected to clarify the VAT treatment of such activities.

Public broadcasting services: pending Case C-21/20, Balgarska natsionalna televizia (BNT)


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