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X BV: VAT on deal costs

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In the recent case of X BV, the CJEU ruled that the sale of a 30% holding in a subsidiary to which X BV had provided management services was not a transfer of a going concern (TOGC). The possibility of a sale of shares qualifying for TOGC treatment was first raised in an earlier decision of the CJEU in AB SKF. It seemed a strange conclusion when raised and the tenor of the decision in X BV suggests that it will be very difficult for a sale of shares to qualify as a TOGC. However, there are other ways to secure VAT recovery of deal costs and this is the truly important point to emerge from these cases.

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