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Detailed technical measures for the definitive VAT system

08-02-2019

The common European value added tax (VAT) system was set up in 1967 and reformed in 1993 in order to adapt it to the entry into force of the internal market. Therefore, the existing rules governing intra Community trade, which were intended to be transitory, are now 25 years old. VAT is an important source of revenue for both national governments and the EU budget, but the current system is ill-adapted to the challenges of a modern economy. It presents such problems as vulnerability to fraud, high ...

The common European value added tax (VAT) system was set up in 1967 and reformed in 1993 in order to adapt it to the entry into force of the internal market. Therefore, the existing rules governing intra Community trade, which were intended to be transitory, are now 25 years old. VAT is an important source of revenue for both national governments and the EU budget, but the current system is ill-adapted to the challenges of a modern economy. It presents such problems as vulnerability to fraud, high compliance costs for businesses, and a heavy administrative burden for national authorities. As part of the action plan on VAT, the European Commission adopted a new proposal in May 2018. This proposal would amend the VAT Directive (Directive 2006/112/EC) to introduce the detailed technical measures of the definitive VAT system for the intra-EU business to business (B2B) trade in goods. The present proposal follows another proposal that sets out the basic features of the reform of the common EU VAT system. Some aspects of the previous proposal were taken out of the negotiations to be examined with this one. Second edition of a briefing originally drafted by Ana Claudia Alfieri. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Reduced VAT rate for e-publications

19-12-2018

The fact that print and digital publications have been subject to separate value added tax (VAT) rates essentially means that products that are considered to be comparable and substitutable have been treated differently to one another. This situation resulted from rules which, on the one hand, allowed Member States to apply reduced rates to printed publications, but on the other excluded this possibility for digital publications. In addition, the evolution in the VAT framework means that VAT on digital ...

The fact that print and digital publications have been subject to separate value added tax (VAT) rates essentially means that products that are considered to be comparable and substitutable have been treated differently to one another. This situation resulted from rules which, on the one hand, allowed Member States to apply reduced rates to printed publications, but on the other excluded this possibility for digital publications. In addition, the evolution in the VAT framework means that VAT on digital services should be levied in the Member State where the consumer is based (thus protecting the single market from application of different rates within a Member State because of the different location of providers). The question of broadening the possibility to apply reduced rates to all publications, be they print or digital, was addressed as part of the VAT digital single market package. The amendment to the VAT directive was adopted by the Council on 6 November 2018, after the European Parliament had delivered its opinion on 1 June 2017. The new rules allow Member States to apply the reduced rate to e-publications, as from 4 December 2018.

More flexible VAT rates

25-10-2018

Value added tax (VAT) is an important source of revenue for national governments and the European Union (EU) budget and, from an economic point of view, a very efficient consumption tax. However, the rules governing value added tax as applied to intra-Community trade are 25 years old and the current common EU VAT system is both complicated and vulnerable to fraud. Businesses doing cross-border trade face high compliance costs and the administrative burden of national tax administrations is also excessive ...

Value added tax (VAT) is an important source of revenue for national governments and the European Union (EU) budget and, from an economic point of view, a very efficient consumption tax. However, the rules governing value added tax as applied to intra-Community trade are 25 years old and the current common EU VAT system is both complicated and vulnerable to fraud. Businesses doing cross-border trade face high compliance costs and the administrative burden of national tax administrations is also excessive. The reform towards the definitive system is planned in several consecutive steps and will take some years. In the meantime, this proposal will amend the VAT Directive (Directive 2006/112/EC) and reform the rules by which Member States set VAT rates. The reform will enter into force when the definitive system is in place; it will give more flexibility to Member States to set VAT rates and will end the current arrangements and their many ad-hoc derogations. Parliament has adopted its non-binding opinion on the proposal, which is now in the hands of the Council. Second edition of a briefing originally drafted by Ana Claudia Alfieri. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

Introducing the definitive VAT system for B2B cross-border trade

18-07-2018

Value added tax (VAT) is an important source of revenue for national governments and the European Union (EU) budget and, from an economic point of view, it is a very efficient consumption tax. However, the existing rules governing intra-Community trade are 25 years old and the current common EU VAT system presents such problems as vulnerability to fraud, high compliance costs for businesses and also a heavy administrative burden for national authorities. The reform of the system is planned in several ...

Value added tax (VAT) is an important source of revenue for national governments and the European Union (EU) budget and, from an economic point of view, it is a very efficient consumption tax. However, the existing rules governing intra-Community trade are 25 years old and the current common EU VAT system presents such problems as vulnerability to fraud, high compliance costs for businesses and also a heavy administrative burden for national authorities. The reform of the system is planned in several consecutive steps, first for goods and then for services, and will take some years. This proposal introduces the basic features of the definite VAT system for business-to-business (B2B) transactions of goods and aims to harmonise and simplify certain rules of the current VAT system, by amending the VAT Directive (Directive 2006/112/EC). First edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Cross-border parcel delivery services

05-07-2018

High prices and the inconvenience of cross-border parcel delivery have been identified as being among the main obstacles to greater uptake of e-commerce among European consumers and retailers. Research shows that current cross-border parcel delivery prices charged by universal service providers can be almost five times higher than domestic parcel delivery prices. To remedy the situation, the European Commission presented a legislative proposal on cross-border parcel delivery services as part of its ...

High prices and the inconvenience of cross-border parcel delivery have been identified as being among the main obstacles to greater uptake of e-commerce among European consumers and retailers. Research shows that current cross-border parcel delivery prices charged by universal service providers can be almost five times higher than domestic parcel delivery prices. To remedy the situation, the European Commission presented a legislative proposal on cross-border parcel delivery services as part of its May 2016 e-commerce package. The proposal’s aim was to contribute to a reduction in delivery prices through increased price transparency and improved regulatory oversight. The final act was signed in April 2018, following a compromise agreement between Parliament and the Council reached in December 2017. The new regulation will enable consumers and businesses to compare parcel delivery prices on a dedicated website, while national regulatory authorities will be provided with greater powers to monitor cross-border tariffs and assess those they consider to be unreasonably high. Fourth edition, based on an original briefing by Jana Valant. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

Cross-border parcel delivery

06-03-2018

As part of efforts to boost e-commerce and to make online shopping easier for consumers, the European Commission has proposed a regulation on cross-border parcel delivery services. It aims to improve transparency and increase regulatory oversight of the cross-border parcel delivery sector, in order to foster competition and reduce delivery prices. Trilogue negotiations led to a provisional agreement on the proposal in December 2017, which needs to be confirmed in a vote during the March plenary session ...

As part of efforts to boost e-commerce and to make online shopping easier for consumers, the European Commission has proposed a regulation on cross-border parcel delivery services. It aims to improve transparency and increase regulatory oversight of the cross-border parcel delivery sector, in order to foster competition and reduce delivery prices. Trilogue negotiations led to a provisional agreement on the proposal in December 2017, which needs to be confirmed in a vote during the March plenary session.

Value added tax: Administrative cooperation and combating fraud

15-02-2018

This proposal was part of a package of proposed EU legislation that aims to modernise the VAT regime for cross-border B2C e-commerce. It provides the basis for the underlying IT infrastructure and the necessary cooperation by Member States to ensure the success of the extension of the mini-one-stop-shop (MOSS). It contains provisions relating to – among other things – the exchange of information between competent authorities of Member States, and the control of transactions and taxable persons, as ...

This proposal was part of a package of proposed EU legislation that aims to modernise the VAT regime for cross-border B2C e-commerce. It provides the basis for the underlying IT infrastructure and the necessary cooperation by Member States to ensure the success of the extension of the mini-one-stop-shop (MOSS). It contains provisions relating to – among other things – the exchange of information between competent authorities of Member States, and the control of transactions and taxable persons, as well as Member States granting to the Commission access to statistical information contained in their electronic systems. The regulation, significantly amended, was adopted by the Council – after consulting the European Parliament – on 5 December 2017. It is accompanied by Council Directive 2017/2455, which amends Directive 2006/112/EC and Directive 2009/132/EC as regards certain value added tax obligations for supplies of services and distance sales of goods; see our separate briefing on this dossier – 2016/0370(CNS). Final edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Definitive VAT system and fighting VAT fraud

03-10-2017

Council Directive 2006/112/EC lays down the rules applicable to the common system of value added tax (VAT). Among other issues, the Council Directive establishes a temporary VAT system based on 'the origin principle', which requires that a VAT rate applicable to transactions is determined by the Member State of the seller's location. The temporary VAT system, established by the directive was supposed to be replaced by a definitive system. This however has not happened yet despite the latest VAT system ...

Council Directive 2006/112/EC lays down the rules applicable to the common system of value added tax (VAT). Among other issues, the Council Directive establishes a temporary VAT system based on 'the origin principle', which requires that a VAT rate applicable to transactions is determined by the Member State of the seller's location. The temporary VAT system, established by the directive was supposed to be replaced by a definitive system. This however has not happened yet despite the latest VAT system having been set up approximately two decades ago. The temporary nature of the current VAT system brings several challenges, including the fact that it is more susceptible to VAT fraud. The European Parliament has called on the European Commission to update Council Directive 2006/112/EC to establish a definitive VAT system. Similarly, the Council and the European Economic and Social Committee have recommended updating the legislation. Representatives of various stakeholder groups have also meanwhile voiced concerns regarding this piece of legislation. It is expected that the European Commission will submit a legislative proposal amending this directive in October 2017.

Setting VAT rates

21-09-2017

Council Directive 2006/112/EC lays down rules applicable to the common system of value added tax (VAT). Among other issues, the Council Directive sets a framework for VAT rates. The present VAT system is based on 'the origin principle', which requires that a VAT rate applicable to transaction is determined by the Member State in which the seller is located. Various studies and reports show that presently several challenges are linked to the implementation of this directive. These challenges include ...

Council Directive 2006/112/EC lays down rules applicable to the common system of value added tax (VAT). Among other issues, the Council Directive sets a framework for VAT rates. The present VAT system is based on 'the origin principle', which requires that a VAT rate applicable to transaction is determined by the Member State in which the seller is located. Various studies and reports show that presently several challenges are linked to the implementation of this directive. These challenges include a gradual move from the origin principle to the destination principle, a need to fight VAT fraud, uncertainty for companies involved in cross-border trading, different VAT rates applied in Member States, obsolete rules, and the restrictive list of cases where reduced VAT can be applied, that is included in Annex III of the directive. The European Parliament has called on the European Commission to update Council Directive 2006/112/EC to respond to these challenges. Similarly, the Council and the European Economic and Social Committee have recommended that this legislation be updated. Furthermore, representatives of various stakeholder groups have voiced requests regarding this piece of legislation. Finally, the European Commission has expressed a willingness to take a more effective and proportionate approach to VAT rates. It is expected that the European Commission will submit this proposal in the third quarter of 2017.

Completing the Internal Market for Parcel Delivery and e-Commerce - State of Play and Possible Reforms

15-09-2016

Effective and affordable parcel delivery is a pre-condition for cross-border trade in physical goods. At present, consumers and shippers in different Member States face very different prices, service levels, and volumes of e-commerce parcels differ hugely by Member State. These shortcomings represent a major impediment to cross-border e-commerce, and thus the Digital Single Market. This in-depth analysis reviews the performance of EU markets for parcel delivery, and discusses concerns and policy ...

Effective and affordable parcel delivery is a pre-condition for cross-border trade in physical goods. At present, consumers and shippers in different Member States face very different prices, service levels, and volumes of e-commerce parcels differ hugely by Member State. These shortcomings represent a major impediment to cross-border e-commerce, and thus the Digital Single Market. This in-depth analysis reviews the performance of EU markets for parcel delivery, and discusses concerns and policy options in light of the Digital Single Market. The paper evaluates the Commission’s recent proposal for a Regulation on cross-border parcel delivery services, and presents recommendations for to improving and aligning the proposed regulation. This document was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection.

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