Germany: Place of supply of events for VAT purposes

Place of supply of services relating to admissions with regard to events is the place where the event actually takes place

Place of supply of services relating to admissions with regard to events

A provision (Article 53) of the EU VAT Directive has been transposed and implemented in Germany’s value added tax (VAT) law.

Article 53 provides that the place of supply of services relating to admissions with regard to cultural, arts, sports, science, teaching, entertainment or similar events (including trade fairs and exhibitions) is the place where these events actually take place.

According to the German VAT implementing decree, application of the rule for determining the location of events in the areas of teaching and science further requires that the event must generally be accessible to the public. This prerequisite (according to a CJEU judgment) is not a requirement for determining the location, and thus, the German VAT rule is to be amended.

In addition, the German VAT implementing decree inserts a criterion requiring the physical presence of the recipient of the supply at the event. Online participation, therefore, is removed from the scope of application of the German VAT law.

Read a June 2021 report [PDF 377 KB] prepared by the KPMG member firm in Germany

Other recent VAT developments that may affect businesses in Germany include the following items:

  • Concept of a fixed establishment—leasing or letting a property in an EU Member State (CJEU judgment of 3 June 2021 ‒ case C-931/19 – Titanium)
  • On input VAT deduction and free gifts (BFH judgment of 16 December 2020, XI R 26/20 (XI R 28/17))
  • VAT-exempt purchase of admission tickets for cultural events (BMF guidance of 9 June 2021)
  • Reminder: Implementation of the second stage of the digital VAT package on 1 July 2021 (BMF guidance of 1 April and 20 April 2021)
  • Reminder: Extension of the provision on non-objection for work supplies to 1 July 2021 (BMF guidance of 11 March 2021)


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