Cost sharing group exemption laid down by Article 261 B of the FTA : a new twist

The conclusions of Mr. Wathelet in the case European Commission v. Federal Republic of Germany (C-616/15) are now available online.

In this new case relating to the VAT exemption applicable to cost sharing groups, the question submitted to the Court is, in substance, whether the VAT exemption strictly applies to groups whose members carry out specific activities or professions.

Highly expected conclusions

Their publication follows two recent cases, subject matter of a previous post. In those last two cases, the A.G. Kokott had found out that the VAT exemption for cost sharing groups could not benefit to financial and insurance activities since, according to her view of the wording of the VAT directive, such a VAT exemption should only apply to activities of general interest.

Following his analysis, the A.G. Wathelet took a different opinion and considered, by contrast, that the VAT exemption cannot be restricted to activities of general interest.

Therefore, the Court will be confronted to the difficult situation of facing two contradictory opinions for this question.