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VAT implications of barter transactions

02 April 2019 / Giles Salmond , Kunal Nathwani , Ed Griffiths
Issue: 4690 / Categories: Comment & Analysis
Barter transactions

Key points

  • Interpretation of the European VAT system in respect of supplies of services in exchange for reciprocal supplies of goods.
  • Contracts factoring in the resell value of scrap metal or other equipment.
  • Consideration is the sum paid for the service provided plus the value of any discount.
  • The decision in A Oy could produce a hidden VAT charge.

Under EU law – as implemented in the EU states including the UK – the taxable amount of a supply of goods or services includes everything that constitutes consideration obtained or to be obtained by the supplier in return for the supply. What constitutes the consideration for VAT purposes was a key question considered by the Court of Justice of the EU in a reference for a preliminary ruling by the Finnish Supreme Administrative Court in A Oy (C-410/17). The case concerned the interpretation of the common European VAT system in respect of supplies of services in exchange for...

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