CLAIRVOYANCE: A Unique Perspective on VAT Rules
We all know that some VAT rules are not always clear. Or, better said, in some cases, it is not always clear how the VAT rules must be interpreted. In those cases, it’s good to know that we can always ask an independent, knowledgeable party for their opinion and ruling. Yes, that would normally be a judge or court.
It might be interesting to know the outcome of some questions before you go to court. It saves time, money, and a lot of fuss and arguing with the counterpart. It’s, therefore, interesting to read the case about a person in the UK who argued that his clairvoyance and palmistry services should be treated as advisory services or as ordinary services. The person was trained as a clairvoyant since he was six years old, following a family tradition going back some 200 years. He practiced for more than 30 years, providing, amongst others, spiritual and astrological calculations and phrenology to customers all over the world, also outside of the EU. With success, at least in some cases. Relationships with mothers-in-law were restored, financial problems vanished, and matrimonial issues were solved. And all of that by saying prayers, doing calculations, and, in a specific case, destroying a voodoo doll.
As this is an older case from 2003, it’s not covered on VATupdate.com. But people who are also clairvoyant will probably know the outcome already. The case raises an interesting question as to when services can be regarded as “services of a consultant” under the old definition of Article 9(2)e of the 6th EU VAT Directive. In this specific case, the court decided that the prayers, calculations, and telephone calls are not the services of a consultant. One of the considerations of the court was that “for a consultant to have any value at all, he must be recognized within his peer group as an individual with professional knowledge and skill, who knows more about the matter in hand than they do.” You may now point towards people around you (including your colleagues) whom you regard as a “consultant” based on this definition.
Here, at VATupdate, the VATupdate Team tries to understand the VAT rules and jurisprudence. We are not clairvoyant, but we believe that we can predict pretty well that VAT rules will need to be interpreted for quite some time. We hope that with our website, we help you with this.
If you have any comments, questions, or ideas that you want to share with us, please send us an email at [email protected] or leave a comment under the posts of this newsletter on LinkedIn.
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