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Parliamentary questions
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6 March 2019
Answer given by Vice-President Dombrovskis on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-006238/2018

The Commission is aware of the practice in France, which imposes that companies in the single European payment area (SEPA) pay Value Added Tax (VAT) through SEPA Direct Debit Business-to-Business (SEPA DD B2B). As banks are free to decide which schemes they offer, the banks of some of the impacted companies may indeed not offer a possibility to pay through SEPA DD B2B.

According to the Commission’s information, the abovementioned procedure equally applies to companies that are French or are based in France as well as to companies from other European Member States. In addition, the surcharge imposed on the taxpayer when using a different payment method may be justified if this leads to more manual intervention on the side of the tax authority. The main reason for a tax authority to request payment through the SDD B2B scheme is that in this scheme the payer is not entitled to obtain a refund for an authorised transaction. The payment is deemed final three business days after the debit date. The scheme therefore results in efficiency gains for both the billers and the business payers due to the automation of payment processing, and in an improved liquidity, as the bills are automatically paid when they are due.

Last updated: 6 March 2019Legal notice - Privacy policy