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AG opinion in Cardpoint: operating ATMs is not VAT exempt

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Defining which services fall within the scope of the VAT exemption for payment transactions, particularly in the context of outsourced services, continues to create difficulty for taxpayers and tax authorities alike. Advocate General (AG) Bot’s opinion in Cardpoint (Case C-42/18) concerns the outsourced operation of ATMs. The AG considered the services were similar in nature to those previously considered in NEC and Bookit, such that they should be viewed as mere technical supplies which do not qualify for VAT exemption. We consider the case is arguable either way, and should the court end up disagreeing with the AG’s opinion, it would provide welcome support for the application of VAT exemption to outsourced services.

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