The judgment is issued in multiple “combined cases”—C-189/11 Commission v. Spain, C-193/11 Commission v. Poland, C-236/11 Commission v. Italy, C-269/11 Commission v. Czech Republic, C-293/11 Commission v. Greece, C-296/11 Commission v. France, C-309/11 Commission v. Finland, and C-450/11 Commission v. Portugal
According to a CJEU release [PDF 212 KB], the European Commission (EC) brought a series of infringement proceedings against eight EU Member States* for their failure to comply with their obligations under the directive on the common VAT system. The actions relate to the special scheme for travel agents.
*Czech Republic, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, Poland, Portugal, and Spain
The EC interpreted the provisions under the special VAT program for travel agents as applicable only to sales of travel services to travelers, and complained that all eight EU Member States authorized the application of those provisions to sales of travel services to any type of customer.
In its judgment, the CJEU found that provisions of the special VAT program for travel agents are not limited to sales of travel services to travelers and extend to sales to any customer.
Concerning Spanish VAT law, the CJEU concluded:
- The Spanish law is incompatible with EU law, in so far as it excludes from the special regime sales of travel services organized by wholesale agents but carried out by retail agents.
- The Spanish law is incompatible with the method of calculating VAT and with the rules in the directive relating to the right of deduction.
- In the travel agency sector, the taxable amount must be determined by reference to each single service supplied by the travel agent, not on an overall basis.