VAT alert (06/07/2012)
ECJ: transfer of shares in real estate company exempt from VAT
Transactions (including negotiation) in shares, interests in companies or associations, debentures and other securities are exempt from VAT.
The Court of Justice has now confirmed that this exemption also covers transactions in shares of companies solely holding immovable property and thus aiming at an indirect transfer of that property. This is the case despite the fact that the shares’ sale price is based almost entirely on the real estate’s market value. Also, the fact that the nature of the transaction envisaged by parties was left open is irrelevant, be it the transfer of legal ownership of the real estate or ownership of the shares.
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