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VAT: composite supplies and the principle of fiscal neutrality

On 10 March 2011 the ECJ gave judgment in four joined cases from the Bundesfinanzhof (Federal Finance Court) in Germany (Joined Cases C-497 499 501 and 502/09).

The cases referred concerned the appropriate VAT treatment of foods supplied for immediate consumption including as to whether the element of services or goods predominated when prepared food was served to customers other than in restaurant-like conditions.

The taxpayer in the first of the joined cases Herr Bog sold food and drinks from mobile snack bars described as being:

‘…equipped with a sales counter with a glass splashguard below and around which ran a "board" made from a material sold under the name "resopal" which could be used for the consumption of food on the spot. To the sides of the vehicle above the drawbar ...

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