OnlyFans should pay UK VAT on full amount paid by subscribers, EU court adviser says

Based in 2016 and with greater than 100 million customers, OnlyFans flourished in the course of the pandemic as a manner for creators to earn Money by promoting content material on to paying subscribers.

OnlyFans operator Fenix took its grievance to a UK tribunal after UK tax authorities ordered it to pay VAT on all of the Money paid by followers and never simply the amount minus 20% paid to creators.

The tribunal subsequently sought recommendation from the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), Europe’s highest. The request was made earlier than Britain withdrew from the European Union in 2020.

CJEU Advocate Common Athanasios Rantos stated the court should verify that the VAT guidelines apply to OnlyFans.

“The provision of the regulation implementing the VAT Directive providing that an Online intermediary platform is, in principle, liable to pay VAT is valid,” he stated in a non-binding opinion.

“The relevant provision of the VAT Directive does not contain any restrictions as to its scope or its extent. Accordingly, no category of services is excluded from the substantive scope of that provision,” he stated.

The CJEU, which follows such recommendation in 4 out of 5 instances, will rule within the coming months.

The case is C-695/20 Fenix Worldwide.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Enhancing by Mark Potter)

By Foo Yun Chee

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