EU Finance Ministers back VAT Action Plan

Wed 25th May 2016

EU Finance Minister today backed the European Commission’s (EC) plans for a wholesale modernisation of the EU VAT regime.

The Economic and Financial Affairs Council configuration (ECOFIN) reviewed the programme to simplify VAT compliance and tackle fraud at its quarterly meeting in Brussels. The Plan proposes a range of measures including the extension of MOSS reporting to goods, more co-operation between tax authorities and the removal of zero rating on intra-community supplies.

Key points from ECOFIN on the VAT Action Plan included:

  • It agrees with the Action Plan’s call for new and radical anti-VAT fraud measures, but highlighted that more simplification is required
  • Calls for improving administrative cooperation and exchange of information between member states’ tax authorities
  • Notes the EC’s plan to propose legislative principles in 2017
  • Calls for more developments involving VIES and Eurofisc
  • Notes on the potential automotive exchange of information between tax authorities
  • A request for further work on the Transaction Network Analysis anti-fraud pilot
  • Acknowledgement that some member states, subject to heavy VAT fraud, may require a further extension of the scope of the reverse charge
  • Notes on other areas to help close the VAT Gap
  • Welcoming comments on VAT compliance simplification, with the aim to reduce VAT compliance costs on cross-border trade to those of domestic trade
  • Acknowledgment of proposals to withdraw the small consignment importation relief
  • Recognition of proposals to extend MOSS reporting to online sales of goods across EU borders
  • Comments on a potential single, pan-EU audit procedure for VAT
  • Notes comments and proposals on a definitive VAT regime for the EU
  • Acknowledges proposals to review the current reduced VAT rate regime to give member states more freedom to set rates locally.