VATupdate

Flashback on ECJ Cases – C-114/05 (Gillan Beach) – An inclusive service provided by an organiser to exhibitors at a fair is taxable where those events actually take place

On March 9, 2006, teh ECJ issued its decision in the case C-114/05 (Gillan Beach).

Context: VAT – Place of taxable transactions – Fiscal connection – Services provided in connection with boat shows


Article in the EU VAT Directive

Article 9(2)(c) of the Sixth Directive (Article 53 & 54 of the EU VAT Directive 2006/112/EC)

Article 53
The place of supply of services in respect of admission to cultural, artistic, sporting, scientific, educational, entertainment or similar events, such as fairs and exhibitions, and of ancillary services related to the admission, supplied to a taxable person, shall be the place where those events actually take place.

Article 54
1. The place of supply of services and ancillary services, relating to cultural, artistic, sporting, scientific, educational, entertainment or similar activities, such as fairs and exhibitions, including the supply of services of the organisers of such activities, supplied to a non-taxable person shall be the place where those  activities actually take place.
2. The place of supply of the following services to a non-taxable person shall be the place where the services are physically carried out:
(a) ancillary transport activities such as loading, unloading, handling and similar activities
(b) valuations of and work on movable tangible property.


Facts

  • Gillan Beach Ltd organised two boat shows in Nice, which took place from 18 to 20 February and 25 to 27 May 1993. It supplied exhibitors with inclusive services comprising, inter alia, setting up stands and means of communication and making them available for use, providing staff to welcome visitors, and renting and arranging surveillance of mooring areas for the boats on show.
  • On 25 October 1993 Gillan Beach Ltd applied, under Article 242-0 M of Annex II to the General Tax Code, for a refund of the VAT on the price of the goods and services it had purchased in France in order to organise the abovementioned boat shows. That application was rejected by the tax authority on the ground that the organisation of fairs and shows, since it is physically carried out in France, is a service deemed to be provided in France, pursuant to the national provision by which Article 9(2)(c), first indent, of the Sixth Directive was transposed into domestic law. That authority therefore considered that the conditions required for a refund of VAT under the Eighth Directive had not been met in the main proceedings.
  • The Tribunal administratif de Paris (Administrative Court, Paris), hearing the action brought by Gillan Beach Ltd, held that the VAT at issue in the main proceedings must be refunded to that company. That judgment having been upheld by a judgment of the Cour administrative d’appel de Paris (Administrative Court of Appeal, Paris), the Ministre de l’Économie, des Finances et de l’Industrie lodged an appeal on a point of order before the Conseil d’État.

Questions

Whether an overall service provided by an organiser to exhibitors at a fair or in an exhibition hall falls within the scope of the first indent of Article 9(2) (c) of the Sixth Council Directive 77/388 of 17 May 1977 1, Article 9(2) (a) of that directive or within any other of the categories of supply of services referred to in Article 9(2) of the directive.

AG Opinion

None


Decision

The first indent of Article 9(2)(c) of Sixth Council Directive 77/388/EEC of 17 May 1977 on the harmonisation of the laws of the Member States relating to turnover taxes – Common system of value added tax: uniform basis of assessment must be interpreted as meaning that an inclusive service provided by an organiser to exhibitors at a fair or in an exhibition hall falls within the category of services referred to in that provision.


Personal comments/VATupdate 


Source:


Similar ECJ cases


Reference to the ECJ case in the EU Member States


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