By judgment of 21 February 2013, case C-18/12 – Zambek – the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that entrance tickets for open-air swimming pools and water parks (aqua parks) are VAT-exempt. This judgment is of particular significance for the German legislature. It allows for more scope in the future and maybe even into the past.
On 31 January 2013 the European Court of Justice has passed two more judgments in cases regarding legitimate expectation when deducting VAT. Principally, the customer has the right to deduct VAT even if the tax authority assumes that the supplier has not carried out any supply. If the tax authority wants to deny the deduction of VAT, even in such cases it is for the tax authority to prove that the customer knew or should have known about a tax fraud related to the supply.
The Supreme Tax Court’s V and XI Senate currently hold diverging views on VAT deduction by shareholders. While the XI Senate construes the European Court of Justice’s statements in the case of Polski Trawertyn quite widely, thereby making VAT deduction easier, the V Senate adheres to its restrictive interpretation. The European Court of Justice will have to clarify these interpretation issues.