In a letter dated April 26, 2022, the German Federal Ministry of Finance (German: Bundesministerium der Finanzen, BMF) issued a statement on the VAT treatment of granting access authorizations to airport lounges.
After years of ambiguity and, in particular, with regards to the different treatment of lounge services by tax offices, the BMF has now clarified that, as a rule, this is another service closely related to a real estate. The service is performed where the real estate is located. In addition, the tax office points out that the tax exemption does not apply for services that directly serve the needs of aircraft.
In cases where the passenger acquires the access authorization to waiting rooms in airports together with the air transportation, it is a dependent ancillary service to the air transportation, so that in the case of cross-border transportation, it is covered by the lower assessment or remission of VAT.
This statement leads to the fact that finally all tax offices must treat lounge services in a uniform manner. In the future, it will reduce the numerous discussions and the need for coordination with the tax offices and service providers involved. Nevertheless, the effects may vary, because as we all know, "the devil is in the details".
Please contact us! We will be happy to discuss these implications for you!