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01 April 2010
Issue: 4249 / Categories: Tax cases , VAT
Erotic Center BVBA v Belgische Staat (Case C-3/09), European Court of Justice

The Belgian taxpayer company provided lockable cubicles with enough room for one person who could watch films on a television screen for payment.

The customer could choose which film to watch and change his choice during the time paid for.

A dispute arose over the VAT due on the provision of the cubicles. The company said that a reduced rate of 6% applied as the cubicles should be regarded as a cinema for the purposes of category 7 of annex H of the Sixth Directive.

The tax authority said that cubicles were within the exception for ‘automated recreation devices’ and were subject to standard rate VAT at 21%.

The matter was referred to the European Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling over whether or not the cubicles should be regarded as a cinema.

The court said that the concept of admission to a cinema had to be...

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