Opinion of Advocate General Kokott in the case DNB Banka.
Kokott proposes that the Court answer the request for a preliminary ruling from the Administratīvā apgabaltiesa as a whole as follows:
1. An independent group of persons for the purposes of Article 132(1)(f) does not have to be a legal person, but a taxable person within the meaning of Article 9(1) of the VAT Directive. A group of related companies does not as such satisfy this requirement.
2. Article 132(1)(f) covers, for the present purposes, only groups of taxable persons which carry out exempt transactions in accordance with Article 132(1) of the VAT Directive. Groups of financial services undertakings do not therefore fall within the scope of Article 132(1)(f) of the VAT Directive.
3. The independent group of persons may supply exempt services only to members that are subject to the same legal order, namely its own.
4. The exemption under Article 132(1)(f) of the VAT Directive is not applicable where a consideration is paid for the supply of services which goes beyond the expenses incurred. That is also the case where, as required under the legislation on direct taxation, a simple flat-rate cost uplift is paid.