OnlyFans, an internet platform known for its adult content, must pay value added tax (VAT) in the UK on the full amount paid by subscribers and not just a discounted amount, in line with EU rules on VAT for online platforms, an adviser to the EU court said on Thursday.

Founded in 2016 and with more than 100 million users, OnlyFans flourished during the pandemic as a way for creators to make money by selling content directly to paying subscribers.

OnlyFans operator Fenix ​​took its complaint to a UK court after British tax authorities ordered it to pay VAT on all money paid by followers and not just the amount minus 20% paid to creators.

The court subsequently sought the advice of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), the highest in Europe. The request was made before the UK withdrew from the European Union in 2020.

CJEU Advocate General Athanasios Rantos said the court needed to confirm that the VAT rules apply to OnlyFans.

“The provision of the implementing regulation of the VAT Directive that establishes that an internet intermediary platform is, in principle, obliged to pay VAT is valid,” he said in a non-binding opinion.

“The relevant provision of the VAT Directive does not contain any restrictions as to its scope or scope. Accordingly, no category of services is excluded from the material scope of that provision,” he said.

The CJEU, which follows this advice in four out of five cases, will rule in the coming months.

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