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Parliamentary questions
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29 August 2019
Answer given by Mr Moscovici on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-002252/2019

The value added tax (VAT) Directive(1), as amended, provides for VAT exemptions for certain categories of transactions. Article 132 of the VAT Directive contains a list of certain activities in the public interest, which are exempt from the tax.

More precisely, Article 132(1)(i) allows for an exemption for certain supplies made by bodies governed by public law having education as their aim or by other organisations recognised by the Member States as having similar objectives. When an exemption is applicable to certain transactions, no right of deduction exists.

However, not all educational services can be covered by the exemption laid in Article 132(1)(i) of the VAT Directive, as this would be a too wide application of such exemption.

This was confirmed by a judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union in case Commission v Germany(2), in particular, as regards research activities and exchanges by public institutions. Therefore, research activities should in principle be a taxable activity in all Member States, with a corresponding right of deduction to ensure the neutrality of the tax.

The Commission is not aware of any inequality in terms of the VAT treatment of scientific institutions in Member States.

(1)Council Directive 2006/112/EC of 28 November 2006 on the common system of value added tax, OJ L 347, 11.12.2006.
(2)Judgment of 20 June 2002, Commission v Germany, C-287/00, EU:C:2002:388.

Last updated: 29 August 2019Legal notice