VAT laws and regulations within the European Union member countries are complicated, strange and in many cases different from country to country. In this article I don’t want to write about the possible ways for usual VAT reclaim. Maybe later.
I will focus exclusively on the VAT relevancy for invoices published by European stand contractors to foreign exhibitors, contractors or agencies. The core statement is:
This rather new rule is based on a judgment of the European Court of Justice in late October 2011. And it took some time for the national tax authorities to adjust their own regulations accordingly.
The judgment concerns the “Place of supply for tax purposes – Design, hiring out and assembly of fair stands” and rules that from now the relevant location is not anymore the location of the venue or the contractor but exclusively the headquarters of the exhibitor.
According to the court decision text this rule directly concerns only
1. Rental and multi-usable stands
2. Companies and other profit organizations, but generally not non-profit associations or governmental organizations etc.
But due to my personal experience nobody makes any difference on this.
Finally one important personal remark: I’m not a lawyer or a tax consultant, just a simple management and marketing expert focussing on European exhibitions. Please treat therefore the above as a first basic information, not as a finalized sophisticated tax lawyer statement. In case of specific relevance for your company or organization, I suggest to contact a specialized tax and law expert for more detailed support. For this reason you can download more detailed legal information for free (no email address grabbing).