Slow start to EU’s Cross Border Rulings scheme
The European Union’s group for evaluating the efficiencies and future development of the VAT regime, the EU VAT Forum, has given a positive first review for the Cross Border Rulings pilot, launched this year. However, the take up of the scheme has been disappointing.
The Cross Border Rulings scheme was launched in January 2013 and extended at the start of 2014 by: Belgium; Estonia, France, Cyprus, Lithuania, Latvia, Malta, Hungary, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and the UK. It offers an e-mail based service whereby private companies may send in questions about the place of supply and obligation to VAT register where there is a supply of goods or services across borders. The aim is to alleviate the uncertainty of doing business across EU borders, and is open to more complex queries only.
Some of the issues raised so far in the project include:
- Many countries did not receive any queries. These included: Cyprus, Lithuania, Malta, Slovenia. The UK only received 10 requests
- Many queries failed to meet the complex VAT criteria. For example, general questions about VAT registration thresholds were refused
- Many queries were sent from companies outside of the participating states
- Some question related to already existing trading situations, which are not eligible