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VAT focus: Fiscal neutrality and the CJEU

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On 13 March 2014, the CJEU delivered five VAT judgments – Finanzamt Saarlouis v Heinz Malburg (C-204/13); FIRIN (C-107/13); Jetair (C-599/12); ATP PensionService A/S (C-464/12); and Klinikum Dortmund (C-366/12) – all of which considered the impact of fiscal neutrality. The judgments are difficult to reconcile and it would appear that the principle of fiscal neutrality is, in some cases, pulling the law in different directions. The most notable aspect of this is the effect of fiscal neutrality on the form over substance debate which would appear to be bubbling up at a European level.

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