EU drops standard VAT return proposal

Wed 4th Nov 2015

The European Commission (EC) has announced that it is to drop plans to introduce a standard EU VAT return for the 28 member states.

The concept of a harmonized EU VAT return was proposed by the EC in October 2013 to help companies burdened by having to understand differing information and computation methodologies across the EU. It proposed to have just five single boxes to complete, with an additional 31 supplementary boxes, divided further by different VAT rates. Returns would be standardized to a monthly basis only.  The new regime was to be introduced by 2017.

At present, the information requirements vary enormously between the member states: there are only four input boxes for Ireland; but 586 for Italy.

The EC has now announced in its 2016 Work Programme that the plan has gained little support at the EC Council, including excessive requests for compromises. It has therefore decided to drop the proposal to enable progress on other VAT simplification proposals. These include the scrapping on the Low Value Consignment Stock Relief regime and introduction of MOSS for goods.