Club Nights are Concerts: Raue LLP Secures Victory for Berghain

Club nights are concerts, at least if they take place at Berghain: Along with tax advisory firm Vierhaus, Raue LLP successfully represented Berghain OstGut GmbH (Berghain) in legal proceedings regarding the value added tax (VAT) treatment of club nights. On 6 September 2016, the Berlin-Brandenburg fiscal court sustained a complaint of the renowned techno club Berghain against Berlin’s tax authority and declared that club nights held at Berghain each weekend are to be considered “concerts” according to the German VAT act. Therefore, the entry fee to the club nights is to be taxed at a reduced VAT rate (judgment of 6 September 2016, file 5 K 5089/14).

The legal proceedings had become necessary because the tax authority was of the opinion that club nights at Berghain were not to be considered concerts, but pure entertainment events, and the entrance fee therefore subject to the regular VAT rate of 19 percent.

The fiscal court now followed the view of Berghain and held that performances of renowned techno and house DJs during Berghain club nights are musical performances of artistic value and in fact the central element of these club nights.

The Guardian reports on the decision. The article is available here.

(13 September 2016)