Court of Justice of the European Union

Judgment of 11 September 2014

Case C-219/13

In this judgment, delivered within a reference for a preliminary ruling, the Court of Justice of the European Union clarifies that Article 98(2), first paragraph, and Annex III, No. 6 of the VAT Directive, must be interpreted as not precluding na tional legislation from subjecting books published in paper form to a VAT reduced rate and  books published on other physical supports, such as CD, CD-ROM or USB keys, to the standard rate.

According to the Court of Justice of the European Union it is essential to ensure the principle of fiscal neutrality – which disallows similar goods or services, which are therefore in competition with each other, from being treated differently for VAT purposes. In this sense, the applicability of a different rate to books printed on paper and books on other physical supports is not justifiable if, from the point of view of the average consumer of a given Member State, the products are perceived to have similar characteristics and to meet the same needs.

Court of Justice of the European Union

Judgment of 17 September 2014

Case C-7/13

In this judgment, delivered within a reference for a preliminary ruling, the Court of Justice of the European Union clarifies that Articles 2(1), 9 and 11 of the VAT Directive must be interpreted in a sense that supplies of services from a main establishment in a third country to its branch in a Member State constitute taxable transactions when the branch is a member of a group considered to be a sole taxpayer for VAT purposes, with its own tax identification number.

The Court of Justice of the European Union further clarified that, as acquirer of the services, the group is liable for the VAT payable.