Insurance in European VAT: current and preferred treatment in the light of the New Zealand and Australian GST System

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Insurance in European VAT. Current and Preferred Treatment in the Light of the New Zealand and Australian GST System provides a thorough legal analysis of the treatment of insurance in the harmonized system of European VAT as compared to the treatment of insurance in the New Zealand and Australian Goods and Services Tax (GST) systems. Insurance constitutes a significant part of the financial services sector, and it is one of the foundations of a modern society and economy. In the design of tax laws, however, whether and how to tax insurance is a complex issue that has become particularly controversial in the area of VAT. In the EU, as in most of the world, insurance is exempt from VAT, but New Zealand and Australia do not follow this practice. Given that New Zealand’s simple, comprehensive GST – called ‘the world’s purest value-added tax’ (and its modified Australian version) – do not appear to suffer from the shortcomings in efficiency and effectiveness that plague European VAT, a comparison of the two systems is in order. This book is thus the first to draw a comparative in-depth study of the treatment of insurance in the two systems.

What’s in this book:

Among the underlying issues and topics treated by the two systems covered are the following:

  • who has a right to deduct input VAT in relation to supplies inherent in insurance arrangements and to what extent;
  • what constitutes a supply of insurance and consideration for such a supply;
  • what transactions fall within the scope of the VAT Directive’s exemption for insurance; and
  • what draws a line between insurance and saving.

The analysis is grounded in a methodology in which concepts of European VAT are compared with concepts performing the same function in the Australian and New Zealand GST laws. The author concludes with proposals for reform in EU VAT in the light of experience in these two major non-EU countries.

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAlphen aan den Rijn The Netherlands
PublisherKluwer Law International
ISBN (Electronic)978-90-411-8361-3
ISBN (Print)978-90-411-8360-6
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

Publication series


Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Law (505)


  • european tax law
  • exemptions
  • gst
  • insurance
  • vat


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