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Morgan Stanley & Co International v Ministre de L’Économie et des Finances

In Morgan Stanley & Co International v Ministre de L’Économie et des Finances (Case C-165/17) (3 October 2018) the Advocate General considered that VAT incurred by a branch in relation to the activities of its head office situated in another member state was recoverable.

Morgan Stanley operated a branch in France and it was accepted that the branch constituted a fixed establishment which was not carrying out an independent economic activity. The issue was its VAT recovery in relation to expenses incurred for its London head office activities and in relation to those affecting both activities of the French branch and activities of the London head office.

The AG considered that the combined application of the domestic provisions of the two relevant member states France and the UK provided the best balance between the neutrality and territoriality principles. The AG observed that under the Sixth VAT directive...

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