Changed VAT Practice For Paved Parking And Road Areas

The new practice of the Danish Tax Agency and the National Tax Court has changed the VAT treatment of real estate sales in Denmark.
Denmark Real Estate and Construction
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The new practice of the Danish Tax Agency and the National Tax Court has changed the VAT treatment of real estate sales in Denmark. This article provides an overview of the latest changes, especially regarding parking areas, which are considered a separate property.

New practices and VAT recovery

The Danish Tax Agency has changed its practice in light of decisions from the National Tax Tribunal. This change includes a revision of which properties are considered building land for VAT purposes. Previously, certain properties, such as those with garages, outbuildings, or road construction, were considered building sites if they did not fulfill the purpose of the local plan. The new practice, effective from January 2019, now allows recovery of VAT paid in accordance with the previous practice.

Specific decision on paved parking areas

A specific decision from the National Tax Tribunal has established that a paved parking area is to be considered a fixed structure and therefore does not constitute a building plot subject to VAT. This allows for the recovery of previously settled VAT in similar situations.

Functionality and VAT treatment

Regarding the functionality of buildings, the Danish Tax Agency has clarified that a building is considered VAT exempt if it is actually usable, regardless of whether it is used for its original purpose. This includes buildings that have been partially demolished or damaged.

Cast foundations and burnt down properties

Interestingly, there is still disagreement about cast foundations, which the National Tax Tribunal considers buildings, while the Tax Agency is waiting for a ruling from the European Court of Justice. In addition, the practice regarding burnt down properties is changing, where the transfer of a property with a burnt down building is no longer automatically considered VAT exempt.

Significance for historical and future sales

This development has implications for both historical and future sales. Past transactions where VAT was incorrectly charged can now be reopened and future sales must be assessed with these new guidelines in mind.

The changes in the practice of the Danish Tax Agency and the decisions of the National Tax Tribunal show a significant development in the VAT treatment of real estate. This opens up a broader interpretation of what can be considered a building, which may affect many real estate transactions in Denmark.

Legal implications of changes in VAT practice for paved parking and road areas

1. Overall legal context

Recent changes in the practice of the Danish Tax Agency and the decisions of the National Tax Tribunal have significant legal implications for real estate trading in Denmark. These changes emphasize the importance of an accurate interpretation of what qualifies as a building for VAT purposes. This interpretation has a direct impact on whether a transfer of real estate is subject to VAT or not.

2. Challenges in practice interpretation

A key challenge arises in the assessment of properties with non-traditional structures such as paved parking lots. This challenge is further complicated by cases where the use of the property does not match the original plans or purpose. Legal advisors and real estate professionals must now navigate a more complex landscape where decisions can vary based on specific property characteristics.

3. guidelines for real estate traders

Property traders need to exercise increased diligence and seek specialized advice to ensure they comply with the new guidelines. This involves a thorough review of the property's history and any previous uses to properly assess its VAT status.

4. potential disputes and litigation

The new interpretations could potentially lead to an increase in disputes and litigation as parties seek to reopen previous transactions or challenge the Tax Agency's assessments. Cases can become particularly complex when they involve properties with unusual structures or uses.

5. The impact on future transactions

Going forward, real estate transactions must take the new interpretations and their potential consequences into account to a greater extent. This applies to both the planning of new development projects and the sale of existing properties.


Recent developments in the Danish Tax Agency's practice and decisions from the National Tax Tribunal have created new VAT implications regarding the sale of real estate, especially in relation to properties with non-traditional buildings such as paved parking areas.

The legal implications of the new VAT rules require a careful and informed approach to real estate transactions.

Originally published January 25, 2024

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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