The European Commission has presented an Action Plan setting out ways to reboot the current EU VAT system to make it simpler, more fraud-proof and business-friendly.
The current VAT rules urgently need to be updated so they can better support the Single Market, facilitate cross-border trade and keep pace with today’s digital and mobile economy.
The ‘VAT gap’, which is the difference between the expected VAT revenue and VAT actually collected in Member States, was almost €170 billion in 2013. Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis, responsible for the Euro and Social Dialogue said: “Every year, cross-border VAT fraud costs our Member States and tax payers about EUR 50 billion. At the same time, the administrative burden for small businesses is high and technical innovation poses new challenges for VAT collection”. The new Action Plan include: key principles for a future single European VAT system; short term measures to tackle VAT fraud; update the framework for VAT rates and set out options to grant Member States greater flexibility in setting them; plans to simplify VAT rules for e-commerce in the context of the Digital Single Market (DSM) Strategy and for a comprehensive VAT package to make life easier for SMEs.