VAT on parking: it’s a topic that attracts a lot of attention nowadays. The Dutch attraction park De Efteling has paid VAT on its parking fees at 6%, the reduced VAT rate. Their argument: the parking services are part of, and ancillary to the main services, i.e. the entrance to the entertainment park. The tax authorities are arguing differently: they see the supply of parking sace as a seperate service, subject to 21% VAT (standard rate).
Even more recently (September 2017), the Dutch advocate-general has advised the Dutch High Court to make all parking subject to 21% Dutch VAT, including the parking made available on public roads by municipalities.
The main rule is that supplies of goods or services by municipalities are not subject to VAT, as long as these municipalities are acting ‘as government’, and are not competing with other (taxable) businesses. Municipalities have the (public) obligation to maintain roads and ensure a good logistic network, including providing of parking spaces. If you’re a private business and (also) want to provide parking spaces at your own premises, you have to charge VAT. The main difference is that the municipality is providing parking space that is free accessible, and maintained and operated with public money.
Going back to the Efteling: they are a private party, and thus their services are subject to VAT. Including the supply of parking space. The question is if these services are ancillary or not.
I just know that if I’m going there, I would not want to park in the next village and take the bus from there. So I would certainly view the parking costs as being part of the entrance fee. But I’d rather not pay any fee for parking at all, of course… Also not when parking on the street.