The Netherlands: Supreme Court holds that place of delivery of sports management services is outside the Netherlands

By Dr Rijkele Betten

In the case at hand a Netherlands sports management organisation delivered services to Netherlands based volleyball players and foreign volleyball clubs which employed the sportspersons abroad. The Netherlands tax authorities insisted on the basis of Article 6a of the Netherlands VAT Act (version 2009) that the services where rendered to the Netherlands based sportspersons and that therefore Netherlands VAT was due on the remuneration received by the sports management service provider. The taxpayer held that the service was provided to the foreign professional sports club and hence no Netherlands VAT would be due. The Court of First Instance held in favour of the tax authorities, the Court of Appeal held for the taxpayer.

On 16 July 2021 the Supreme Court had also held in favour of the taxpayer on the basis of the fact that the services of the sports management service provider did not consist out of the arrangement of employment relationships but instead arranging for the activities which the sportspersons where going to perform abroad. The Supreme Court also held it relevant that the activities of volleyball players being sports activities are for VAT purposes performed at the place where they actually are performed. No Netherlands VAT was due.

HR 16 July 2021, 19/02639