Relevant article in the EU VAT Directive 2006/112/EC
1. States, regional and local government authorities and other bodies governed by public law shall not be regarded as taxable persons in respect of the activities or transactions in which they engage as public authorities, even where they collect dues, fees, contributions or payments in connection with those activities or transactions.
However, when they engage in such activities or transactions, they shall be regarded as taxable persons in respect of those activities or transactions where their treatment as non-taxable persons would lead to significant distortions of competition.
In any event, bodies governed by public law shall be regarded as taxable persons in respect of the activities listed in Annex I, provided that those activities are not carried out on such a small scale as to be negligible.
2. Member States may regard activities, exempt under Articles 132, 135, 136 and 371, Articles 374 to 377, Article 378(2), Article 379(2) or Articles 380 to 390b, engaged in by bodies governed by public law as activities in which those bodies engage as public authorities.
ECJ Cases decided
- C-107/84 (Commission of the European Communities v. Federal Republic of Germany)
- Joined Cases 231/87 and 129/88 (Ufficio distrettuale delle imposte dirette di Fiorenzuola d’Arda and others v. Comune di Carpaneto Piacentino and others)
- C-4/89 (Commune di Carpaneto Piacentino and others v. Ufficio Provinciale Imposta sul Valore Aggiunto di Piacenza)
- C-202/90 (Ayuntamiento de Sevilla v. Recaudadores de Tributos de la Zonas Primera y Segunda)
- C-247/95 (Finanzamt Augsburg-Stadt v. Marktgemeinde Welden)
- C-276/97 (Commission of the European Communities v. the French Republic)
- C-358/97 (Commission v. Republic of Ireland)
- C-359/97 (Commission v. the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland)
- C-408/97 (Commission of the European Communities v. the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
- C-260/98 (Commission of the European Communities v. the Hellenic Republic)
- C-446/98 (Câmara Municipal do Porto)
- C-287/00 (Commission of the European Communities v. the Federal Republic of Germany)
- C-378/02 (Waterschap Zeeuws Vlaanderen v. Staatssecretaris van Financiën)
- C-284/04 (T-Mobile Austria GmbH v. the Republic of Austria)
- C-369/04 (Hutchison 3G UK Ltd, mmO2 plc, Orange 3G Ltd, T-Mobile (UK) Ltd, Vodafone Group Services Ltd v.Commissioners of Customs and Excise)
- C-430/04 (Finanzamt Eisleben v. Feuerbestattungsverein Halle e.V.)
- C-442/05 (Finanzamt Oschatz v. Zweckverband zur Trinkwasserversorgung und Abwasserbeseitigung Torgau-Westelbien)
- C-408/06 (Landesanstalt für Landwirtschaft, Abteilung Förderwesen und Fachrecht v. Franz Götz)
- C-456/07 (Karol Mihal v. Daňový úrad Košice V)
- C-554/07 (Commission/Ireland)
- C-102/08 (SALIX Grundstücks-Vermietungsgesellschaft mbH & Co. Objekt Offenbach KG v. Finanzamt Düsseldorf-Süd)
- C-154/08 (Commission v Spain) – Services rendered by the ‘registradores de la propiedad’ are subject to VAT
- C-79/09 – Dismissed
- C-72/13 (Gmina Wrocław) – Transfer by a municipality of elements of its heritage
- C-174/14 (Saudaçor) – Company of the Azores Autonomous Region carries out economic activity
- C-276/14 (Gmina Wroclaw) – Municipal budgetary entities cannot be regarded as taxable persons
- C-520/14 (Gemeente Borsele and Staatssecretaris van Financiën) – An authority providing transport services for schoolchildren is not a taxable person
- C-11/15 (Český rozhlas) – Public broadcasting activities by Czech Radio outside scope of VAT
- C-344/15 (National Roads Authority) – Body governed by public law which collects tolls on roads may not be regarded as competing with private operators
- C-37/16 (SAWP) – Authors/artists do not provide a service for producers and importers of reproduction rights
- C-182/17 (Nagyszénás Településszolgáltatási Nonprofit Kft.) – Company of a municipality to which public tasks are assigned – Concept of “public body”
Pending ECJ Cases
- C-616/21 Gmina L. (Municipality of L.) – Questions – Is a municipality a taxable person due to implementing a programme for the removal of asbestos?
- C-612/21 Gmina O. (Municipality of O.) – Questions – Is a municipality a taxable person due to a project to increase the proportion of renewable energy sources?