Place of Supply – Admission to Event

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The European Court has confirmed its interpretation of PVD art 53 in the case of Skatteverket v Srf konsulterna AB. The company, Srf provided accountancy and management courses. Based in Sweden, it held courses elsewhere in the EU, but for businesses who had establishments in Sweden. (Presumably the training was delivered to staff from branches of Swedish companies which were located elsewhere in the EU.) The Swedish VAT authorities ruled that the Place of Supply rules meant that Swedish VAT was applicable but sought a ruling from the ECJ.

The question to be asked: was Srf supplying education, or admission to an education event?

The ECJ held that the supply was essentially the right of admission to the event, not the provision of education. The Place of Supply was where the event took place. Presumably Srf had to register in each Member State where events were held.

Srf raised the question as to the administrative burden of this conclusion. The Court responded that this principle was in the preamble to the Directive and therefore has no binding force.

I am not sure this decision adds much to HMRC guidance, so would not expect HMRC to comment on it. Here is the decision:

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