Are DJ’s musicians? German court’s rules yes, dropping the VAT from 19% to 7%

Techno is music. As a result, German club owners can benefit from a lower VAT rate.

The case was heard in the Munich-based financial high court, with clubs arguing that DJs make music. In Germany, night clubs pay 19% VAT, while concert halls in Germany have a reduced VAT of 7%. The Federal Court ruled that the reduced rate was not due to musicians and singers, but to the primary reason visitors attend.

DJs do not simply play songs (composed by others), but they perform their own pieces of music using instruments in the broadest sense, to create sound sequences with their own character, The Federal Court ruled. That decision stands even if revenue from drinks is higher than entry tickets. The court recognizes that techno music is a primary draw for the night club experience.



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