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There is an important ongoing debate on the direct and indirect taxation of the digital economy. Proposals on digital taxes, which are under negotiation in the OECD, are inter-linked with European Commission proposals on the same subject. As the Council did not reach an agreement on the Commission proposal for a digital services tax, national initiatives appeared in the interim until a global solution in the area of direct taxation could be found in the OECD. On 1 December 2020, the Council endorsed ...

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 ...

Despite achieving unprecedented growth and profit rates, the digital economy seems to be relatively undertaxed when compared to more traditional 'bricks and mortar' companies. The current rules are based on the physical presence of taxpayers and assets, and there is a general understanding that they are not suited to taxing a digital economy characterised by reliance on intangible assets and ubiquitous services whose location is often hard to determine. International bodies are currently working ...

According to the European Commission the digital economy is relatively under-taxed when compared with traditional businesses. Certain inherent characteristics such as reliance on cross-border provision of services without physical presence, easy transfers of intangible assets, and novel ways to create value make it particularly easy for enterprises to limit their tax liabilities. In order to provide a solution to this problem, in March 2018 the Commission adopted the 'fair taxation of the digital ...

Fair taxation of the digital economy

Rövid áttekintés 05-12-2018

In order to make tax rules fit for the digital economy, the European Commission proposed two Council directives in March 2018: a short-term solution, to be delivered by an interim digital services tax on revenues from certain digital services, and a permanent reform of the corporate tax rules, based on the concept of 'significant digital presence'. The European Parliament is expected to vote on the proposals during its December plenary session.

VAT for small enterprises

Briefing 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 ...

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 ...

Plenary round-up – Strasbourg, October I 2018

Rövid áttekintés 05-10-2018

The highlight of the October I plenary session was the debate on the preparation of the European Council meeting on 18 and 19 October 2018. The series of debates on the Future of Europe continued, this time with the Prime Minister of Estonia, Jüri Ratas. Montenegro's President, Milo Đukanović, also addressed Parliament in a formal sitting. Parliament adopted, inter alia, legislative proposals on: audiovisual media services; VAT rules; strengthening the EU Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation ( ...