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Document 62010CJ0093

Summary of the Judgment

Judgment of the Court (Third Chamber) of 27 October 2011.
Finanzamt Essen-NordOst v GFKL Financial Services AG.
Reference for a preliminary ruling: Bundesfinanzhof - Germany.
Sixth VAT Directive - Articles 2(1) and 4 - Scope - Concepts of ‘supply of services effected for consideration’ and ‘economic activity’ - Sale of defaulted debts - Sale price lower than the face value of those debts - Assumption of responsibility by the purchaser for the recovery of those debts and for the risk of defaulting debtors.
Case C-93/10.



Tax provisions – Harmonisation of laws – Turnover taxes – Common system of value added tax – Supply of services effected for consideration – Meaning

(Council Directive 77/388, Arts 2(1) and 4)


Articles 2(1) and 4 of Sixth Directive 77/388 on the harmonisation of the laws of the Member States relating to turnover taxes must be interpreted as meaning that an operator who, at his own risk, purchases defaulted debts at a price below their face value does not effect a supply of services for consideration within the meaning of Article 2(1) and does not carry out an economic activity falling within the field of application of that directive when the difference between the face value of those debts and their purchase price reflects the actual economic value of the debts at the time of their assignment.

In such circumstances, the assignee of the debts receives no consideration from the assignor, the difference between the face value of the assigned debts and the purchase price of those debts constituting a reflection of the actual economic value of the debts at the time of their assignment, which results from the fact that they are doubtful and from the increased risk of default of the debtors.

(see paras 22, 25-26, operative part)