The Court of Appeal has ruled that the reduced VAT rate does apply for car parking at amusement parks
The Den Bosch Court of Appeal has ruled that the provision of paid car parks is an additional service to the principal performance (granting access to the amusement park), because in the present case parking is exclusively linked to access to the amusement park.
The operator of an amusement park charges 6% VAT for access to the park (the reduced rate until 31 December 2018) and 21% VAT for car parking. The operator has objected to the VAT paid on the tax return, stating that the entry to the park and car parking is a composite supply to which the reduced rate applies.
Question of law
There is a dispute as to whether the operator should have applied the reduced VAT rate to parking.
Assessment by the Court of Appeal
In its judgment, the Den Bosch Court of Appeal referred to case law in which the Supreme Court ruled that the use of car parking facilities at the place of destination is a goal in itself and that this will not change if the car park is exclusively intended for park visitors. The Supreme Court therefore ruled that this is not a composite supply and that 21% VAT is due on the provision of parking facilities.
However, the Court of Appeal ruled that in the present case, contrary to the judgment of the Supreme Court, the possibility of parking does not have a separate interest compared to the principal performance. In this case, the provision of parking facilities for payment is an additional service that is integrated in the principal performance. This composite supply is subject to the reduced rate of 6% (now: 9%).
It is striking that in this case, unlike the Supreme Court and other courts of appeal, the Den Bosch Court of Appeal ruled that this is a composite supply that is subject to the reduced VAT rate. The main reason for this judgment seems to be the fact that parking in the immediate vicinity was not permitted and that the nearest car park was two kilometres away. This means that a visitor does not have the choice between parking outside the gate or in the grounds. If you offer parking facilities under similar circumstances, it is sensible to lodge an objection in time.