CCBE fails on VAT

The European Commission has rejected arguments by the Council of the Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) that the VAT rate on legal services should be reduced. The commission had been considering the issue since it was raised by the CCBE last year. The professional body, which represents Bar associations in the European Union, had argued that, as private clients could not claim back VAT unlike commercial clients, the system was unfair. But the Commission decided that VAT was payable on all goods and services unless there were good social reasons to justify a lower rate.