17

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VAT for small enterprises

25-10-2018

Value added tax (VAT) is a consumption tax borne by the final consumers and collected by businesses as taxable persons. Businesses have VAT administrative obligations and act as VAT collectors. This generates compliance costs that are higher for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) than for bigger businesses, in spite of the small business exemption, especially in the case of cross-border activities. The proposal for a revision of the VAT Directive relating to the common system of value added ...

Value added tax (VAT) is a consumption tax borne by the final consumers and collected by businesses as taxable persons. Businesses have VAT administrative obligations and act as VAT collectors. This generates compliance costs that are higher for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) than for bigger businesses, in spite of the small business exemption, especially in the case of cross-border activities. The proposal for a revision of the VAT Directive relating to the common system of value added tax as regards the special scheme for small enterprises simplifies the rules, so as to reduce VAT compliance costs for SMEs by introducing simpler measures regarding invoicing, VAT registration, accounting and returns for SMEs, whether they operate in wholly domestic markets only or also across borders in the EU. The legislative proposal falls under the consultation procedure. The European Parliament adopted its resolution on 11 September 2018, and the proposal is now with the Council. Second edition. 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.

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.

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.

Amending VAT rules on distance sales

15-02-2018

Since 1 January 2015, for some mobile transactions linked to telecommunications, broadcasting and electronically supplied services to non-taxable persons (business-to-consumer, B2C), the destination principle is applicable for value added tax – i.e. the VAT should be paid to the Member State where the consumer is located, via the mini-one-stop-shop (MOSS) portal. In its VAT digital single market package, published on 1 December 2016, the Commission proposed to extend payment possibilities through ...

Since 1 January 2015, for some mobile transactions linked to telecommunications, broadcasting and electronically supplied services to non-taxable persons (business-to-consumer, B2C), the destination principle is applicable for value added tax – i.e. the VAT should be paid to the Member State where the consumer is located, via the mini-one-stop-shop (MOSS) portal. In its VAT digital single market package, published on 1 December 2016, the Commission proposed to extend payment possibilities through MOSS to online supply of goods and cross-border services to final consumers. The portal would also be extended to include payment for imports of small consignments of a value not exceeding €150. The directive, significantly amended, was adopted by the Council – after consulting the European Parliament– on 5 December 2017. It is accompanied by Council Regulation 2017/2454. See also our separate briefing on the parallel dossier on improving administrative cooperation on VAT issues: 2016/0371(CNS). Second edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Excise duty on alcohol - Revision of Council Directive 92/83/EEC on the structures of excise duty applied to alcohol and alcoholic beverages

27-11-2017

Council Directive 92/83/EEC harmonises the structures of excise duties on alcohol and alcoholic beverages, as agreed in 1992 by the Member States. The directive establishes common definitions of alcoholic products that are subject to duty, as well as exemptions and common reduced rates, particularly for small producers of alcoholic beverages and home-brewers. The European Commission began evaluating whether the rules are still up to date and ensure a level playing-field among producers, as well as ...

Council Directive 92/83/EEC harmonises the structures of excise duties on alcohol and alcoholic beverages, as agreed in 1992 by the Member States. The directive establishes common definitions of alcoholic products that are subject to duty, as well as exemptions and common reduced rates, particularly for small producers of alcoholic beverages and home-brewers. The European Commission began evaluating whether the rules are still up to date and ensure a level playing-field among producers, as well as whether smaller producers might benefit from simpler rules and lower excise duties. Based on the results of the evaluation process, a new legislative proposal is expected to be presented by the end of 2017. This would be the second attempt to modify the current legislation, after the first failed to obtain the approval of the Member States in the Council, in 2006.

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.

Resource efficiency: Reducing food waste, improving food safety

10-05-2017

As part of its action plan on the circular economy, the EU is aiming to give substance to a more efficient use of resources by reducing food waste and increasing food security. The European Parliament is due to vote in May 2017 on an own-initiative report proposing measures to cut the 88 million tonnes of edible food wasted annually in the EU by half by 2030.

As part of its action plan on the circular economy, the EU is aiming to give substance to a more efficient use of resources by reducing food waste and increasing food security. The European Parliament is due to vote in May 2017 on an own-initiative report proposing measures to cut the 88 million tonnes of edible food wasted annually in the EU by half by 2030.

CJEU rules sale of bitcoin exempt from VAT

28-11-2016

The legal framework for virtual currencies, such as bitcoin, is still far from clear. One controversial aspect is the status of bitcoins under tax law. In a 2015 judgment, the CJEU provided clarification on the status of bitcoins for the purposes of value added tax.

The legal framework for virtual currencies, such as bitcoin, is still far from clear. One controversial aspect is the status of bitcoins under tax law. In a 2015 judgment, the CJEU provided clarification on the status of bitcoins for the purposes of value added tax.

Focus on: Fisheries Subsidies

15-10-2013

The current reform of the Common Fisheries Policy has put fisheries subsidies in the spotlight in the EU, in particular with regard to EU fisheries funding being reshaped into a new European Maritime and Fisheries Fund. In order to support these important developments, a series of briefing notes produced by Policy Department B provide concrete figures on public funding of the fisheries sector in Europe and worldwide.

The current reform of the Common Fisheries Policy has put fisheries subsidies in the spotlight in the EU, in particular with regard to EU fisheries funding being reshaped into a new European Maritime and Fisheries Fund. In order to support these important developments, a series of briefing notes produced by Policy Department B provide concrete figures on public funding of the fisheries sector in Europe and worldwide.

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