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Sales Promotion Techniques and VAT in the EU by WITTOCK

Sales Promotion Techniques and VAT in the EU



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Sales Promotion Techniques and VAT in the EU provides more accurate and comprehensive information on how a more ideal and clear VAT treatment for the use of sales promotion techniques (SPTs) can be conceived, not only providing neutrality for businesses using SPTs but also respecting the other key principles and features of the VAT system. SPTs are a common facet of consumer life, with many companies offering price reductions, bonuses, or other deals in order to attract or retain customers. Although VAT on advertising costs is in principle fully deductible, problems frequently arise when products are supplied as part of a sales promotion. This book provides the first in-depth investigation of the extent to which the current VAT treatment in the EU of the various SPTs corresponds to the core properties of the VAT, with particular attention to the so-called neutrality principle.

What’s in this book:
With nuanced precision, the author catalogs the SPTs that are commonly used in practice. Then, revealing serious inconsistencies among the relevant rulings of the European Court of Justice, she goes on to propose specific amendments to the VAT Directive. Focusing on the importance for VAT of determining the presence of an SPT, she thoroughly analyzes such aspects of the VAT–SPT relationship as the following:

  • What are the key considerations for effectively determining whether the supply of a benefit upon fulfillment of a certain condition by a customer constitutes an SPT or a barter?
  • To what extent are the VAT consequences of the use of SPTs compliant with the principle of neutrality?
  • What distinguishes the VAT treatment of an SPT whereby a sales promotor both finances and supplies a benefit from that of an SPT whereby a sales promotor finances but does not himself supply a benefit?
  • What legislative changes can be made in order to reach a more ideal and clear VAT treatment of SPTs in the EU? Not only considering the principle of neutrality but also the other key features and principles of EU VAT.

The research is conducted mainly through a review of European legislation, policy documents, and CJEU case law and the Belgian interpretation thereof. Where room is left for different interpretations, some viewpoints of EU VAT in the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, as well as in the corresponding system of New Zealand, are considered.

How this will help you:
With the finely tuned analysis presented in this book, readers can gain a good understanding of the current VAT treatment of sales promotion techniques and when these can currently (unjustly) result in a VAT cost. Practitioners can ensure an appropriate argumentation on the VAT treatment of SPTs with national tax authorities or before courts. As the first overall study on the VAT treatment of SPTs, clearly discussing the issues and legislative gaps and making concrete suggestions for future legislation, it is sure to be welcomed also by academics and EU policymakers.

Last Updated 03/15/2019
Update Frequency As Needed
Product Line Kluwer Law International
ISBN 9789403508610
SKU 10070539-0002
Table of Contents


List of Figures

List of Tables



SPTs from a Marketing Point of View

The Importance for VAT of Ascertaining the Existence of an SPT and Cataloging the Use of SPTs in a VAT-Logical Manner

SPT or Barter? Analysis with a Focus on Referral Schemes and Their VAT Consequences

The Sales Promotor Finances and Supplies the Benefit of the SPT

The Sales Promotor Finances but Does Not Supply the Benefit of the SPT

General Summary of Findings

General Conclusion

Suggested Amendments to the VAT Directive


Table of CJEU Cases


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