Language of document :

Reference for a preliminary ruling from Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber) (United Kingdom) made on 4 March 2011 - Purple Parking Ltd, Airparks Services Ltd v The Commissioners for Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs

(Case C-117/11)

Language of the case: English

Referring court

Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber)

Parties to the main proceedings

Applicants: Purple Parking Ltd, Airparks Services Ltd

Defendant: The Commissioners for Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs

Questions referred

What particular factors does the Referring Court have to take into account when deciding whether, in circumstances such as those of the present case, a taxable person is providing a single taxable supply of parking services or two separate supplies, one of parking and one of transport of passengers?

In particular:

a) Is this case covered by the reasoning adopted by the Court of Justice in Case C-349/96 Card Protection Plan and Case C-41/04 Levob. In particular, can the transport services in question be regarded as ancillary to the parking services or so closely linked to them that they form, objectively, a single indivisible economic supply, which it would be artificial to split?

b) In considering question 1(a), what account should the Referring Court take of the costs of providing the transport services, as opposed to the parking services, in accordance with paragraphs 24-26 of the ECJ's judgment in Joined Cases C-308/96 and C-94/97 Madgett and Baldwin, in assessing whether or not the transport services are ancillary to the parking services?

c) In the light of the ECJ's judgment in Case C-572/07 Tellmer, in particular paragraphs 21-24, should the Referring Court when answering question 1(a) take account of the fact that the transport element of the supplies could be (but is not in fact) provided in a variety of ways (for example, the taxable person could provide those transport services using a third party provider who invoices the taxable person or could use a third party provider who contracts directly with the customer and separately charges for the transport services) and to what extent (if at all) is it relevant whether or not the contract gives the customer the right to choose between the different manners in which the transport element could be provided?

When the Referring Court is considering whether or not there is a single indivisible economic supply in answering question 1(a), what account should it take of the principle of fiscal neutrality?

In particular:

a) Does the answer depend on whether or not the taxable person also provides parking services or transport services separately to other groups of customer?

b) Does the answer depend on how other transport services to and from airports, not provided by operators of parking services, are treated under national law?

c) Does the answer depend on whether or not other instances of the provision by taxable persons of parking and transport services (not involving transport to and from airports) are treated under national law as constituting two distinct supplies, one taxable and one zero-rated?

d) Does the answer depend on whether or not the taxable person can show that the services it provides are in competition with other similar services involving both a parking and a transport element, whether provided by the same supplier or provided by two separate suppliers? In particular, does the answer depend on whether the taxable person can show that consumers who wish to use their cars to perform part of the journey to the airport can obtain parking and transport to the airport from individual and separate suppliers, for example by parking at a location near a train station and transport by train from that location to the airport or by parking at a location near an airport and another form of public transport to the airport?

e) How is the Referring Court to take account of the conclusions reached by the ECJ in Case C-94/09 Commission v France in relation to the principle of fiscal neutrality and transport services in that case?

Does Community law and, in particular, the principle of fiscal neutrality, preclude a provision of domestic law which excludes zero-rating for transport services between an airport and a car park where the person providing the transport element and the person supplying the car parking element are the same person or connected persons?

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