May 24, 2019

Changed rules - when to charge VAT on admission to training courses in the EU

The local VAT laws for the EU countries for when to charge VAT on admission to training and "educational" courses have varied quite a lot in the past. In some of the countries, it has been required to charge VAT to all the attendees, regardless of what country they come from, or if they are participating on behalf of their company, or as a private person. In others, the admission to these courses/events have been subject to the "reverse charge" which means that VAT should only be charged to attendees from the country of the event. For example, if the seminar is in the Netherlands, VAT only has to be charged to the Dutch attendees.

This has now changed due to a recent case law from the EU Court (C-647/17). The ruling means that admission to "educational services" are not subject to the "reversed charge" rules. This basically means that the organizers of seminars and training courses are required to charge VAT to all the attendees, regardless if they are a private person or a company, and what country they come from.

For the North American attendee, this means VAT will be charged on the attendee fee by all EU countries in the future. Luckily this VAT is refundable (to the North American company) from several of the EU countries, such as Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, the UK and a few more.

We are happy to discuss your company’s VAT strategy when attending, participating and/or organizing trade shows and conferences. Feel free to contact our VAT experts to answer any questions you may have.

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