The lease of hunting use on rustic land is not exempt from VAT


Judgment of the Spanish Supreme Court of February 28, 2023, in response to an appeal.

It is convenient to start by remembering the exemption included in article 20.One.23ª.a) of the Spanish VAT Law which establishes the following:

“Leases that are considered services in accordance with the provisions of article 11 of this Law and the constitution and transmission of rights of enjoyment, which have the following goods as their object, will be exempt from this tax:

  1. a) Land, including real estate constructions of an agricultural nature used for the exploitation of a rustic property.

Real estate constructions dedicated to livestock activities independent of land exploitation are excepted.


In the case at hand, the Soria City Council issued an invoice addressed to the San Saturio Hunters and Fishermen Sports Club, corresponding to the fifth year of hunting use of the Public Utility Mount nº 178 “Monte Toranzo”, charging a VAT quota of EURO 1,399.50.

The Club appealed the treatment of this transaction as subject and non-exempt from VAT and, although it was confirmed by the following Administrative Body, however, the next Court upheld the subsequent Appeal declaring the right of the Club Deportivo to obtain the refund of the VAT quotas charged by this service, plus the corresponding legal interests.

The State Attorney appealed against this judgment in order to determine if the exemption covers the leases of rustic land, regardless of the use obtained from them, including hunting or, if on the contrary, it must be considered that a possible economic use (including hunting) of that land excludes the application of the exemption.

Finally, the Spanish Supreme understood that the transfer of hunting use is a service provided, that has its own substantivity, that its object is not the land and, therefore, this Court rectifies the judgment of the Supreme Court of Castilla y León that gave the reason to the Hunting Club and, in line with two other previous judgments, comes to establish the jurisprudential doctrine on this aspect, establishing that the leasing of hunting use on rustic land is not included in the objective scope of the exemption provided for in article 20.One.23rd a) of the Spanish VAT Law.

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