The Fiscal Court of Cologne ruled on 14 March 2017 that unmanned wind turbines could be seen as permanent establishments for VAT purposes.
In the case presented to the court, the plaintiff (a foreign partnership), operated a wind power plant in Germany and sold the electricity generated this way. The plaintiff requested a VAT tax refund via the electronic reclaim procedure. The Tax Office rejected the request on the grounds that the company was not an entrepreneur according to German VAT rules – meaning that the reclaim had followed the wrong procedure.
The plaintiff claimed entrepreneurial status on the basis of its operating of the wind turbines in Germany. It referred to a similar case where the Fiscal Court of Münster (Germany) had ruled that unmanned wind turbines were permanent establishments for VAT purposes.Click here to learn more.