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VAT liability of parking penalties charged by car park operator

21 March 2022
Issue: 4833 / Categories: Tax cases
Apcoa Parking Danmark A/S v Skatteministeriet (Case C-90/20), Court of Justice of the EU, 20 January 2022

The taxpayer operated car parks on private land under agreements with site owners. Similar arrangements are quite common in the UK where supermarkets might engage an operator to oversee and fix the rules for parking at their stores.

Apcoa set the conditions for using the car parks and imposed a €69 ‘control fee’ if drivers did not comply with them for example by exceeding the permitted parking time or parking across multiple bays.

The Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) considered the facts of the agreements and concluded that such fees were subject to VAT. There was a requirement to pay the control fees as part of a legal relationship created between the taxpayer and the driver when they decided to park their vehicles on the site. In other words the driver had to comply with the general terms and conditions for using the car...

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