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Tax & Legal

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Tax & Legal

Cum-ex trading is tax evasion


In its decision of today, the Federal Court of Justice held that claiming a refund or credit of withholding tax in the wake of cum-ex schemes is a criminal act of tax evasion. The proceeds obtained in these illegal transactions and the benefits derived therefrom may be collected. Continue reading

British university college recognized as charitable foundation


An ancient english university college may meet the requirements of a charitable foundation under German law and be exempt from corporate income tax because of its non-profit status. In its decision the Supreme Tax Court also found that the legal structure of the college is equivalent to that of a German foundation within the meaning of Sec. 80 (1) of the German Civil Code. Continue reading

“Rental” of virtual land during online game subject to VAT?


Transactions made in exchange for redeemable play money as part of an online game in virtual space are subject to VAT. This was decided by the Cologne Fiscal Court in August 2019. The final decision of the Supreme Tax Court is expected soon due to the fact that the case has now been pending since January 2020. Continue reading

Assessing care and support needs on behalf of Medical Health Service not exempt from VAT


The Supreme Tax Court held that expert reports (appraisals) on the care and support needs of patients in order to determine the extent of their entitlement to medical care on behalf of the Medical Service of the Health Insurance (“MDK”) are not exempt from VAT under national law. A tax exemption under EU law is also not possible according to an earlier ECJ judgement pertaining to the case in dispute. Continue reading

Zero financing does not reduce tax basis for VAT


The payment for a sale of goods is not reduced in case of a 0% financing which was arranged and borne by the seller and which is handled through a bank. The basis of assessment for VAT purposes (tax basis) is still the purchase price agreed with the buyer, even if the invoice states that the seller grants a discount in the amount of the interest. Continue reading

VAT treatment of services provided by stock exchanges and other trading platforms


In a current circular, the tax authorities generally comment on the VAT treatment of services provided by exchanges and other trading platforms for financial products and, in this respect, partially amends an earlier decree issued in 2018 with regard to trading platforms for the acquisition or trading of Bitcoin and other so-called crypto currencies. Continue reading

European Council adopts a temporary ‘buy and donate’ VAT exemption


The Council of the European Union adopted an amendment to the VAT directive introducing a temporary VAT exemption on importations and on certain supplies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The ‘buy and donate’ directive will make it easier for the Commission and EU agencies to buy goods and services to distribute them free of charge to member states in the context of the ongoing public health crisis. Continue reading