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The common European value added tax (VAT) system was set up in 1967, and reformed in 1993, to adapt it to the entry into force of the European Union (EU) internal market. The existing rules governing intra Community trade were therefore intended to be transitory. While VAT has become an important source of revenue for both national governments and the EU budget, the current system is ill-adapted to the challenges of a modern economy. A substantial review was initiated as from 2016, to update the ...

Value added tax (VAT) is a consumption tax borne by the final consumer. It is an important source of revenue for national governments and the European Union (EU) budget. However, the existing rules governing intra-Community trade are 25 years old and the current common EU VAT system is still ‘transitional’. This framework presents problems such as vulnerability to fraud, compliance costs for businesses and also a heavy administrative burden for national authorities. It is under review along the lines ...

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 ...

More flexible VAT rates

Briefing 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 ...

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 ...

Dans le cadre des efforts visant à stimuler le commerce électronique et à faciliter les achats en ligne pour les consommateurs, la Commission européenne a proposé un règlement sur les services de livraison transfrontière de colis. Son objectif est d’améliorer la transparence et d’accroître la surveillance réglementaire du secteur de la livraison transfrontière de colis afin de renforcer la concurrence et de réduire les prix de livraison. Les négociations en trilogue ont conduit à un accord provisoire ...

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 ...

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 ...

Setting VAT rates

Briefing 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 ...

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 ...