Action Plan on VAT

EESC opinion: Action Plan on VAT

Key points:


  • welcomes the Action Plan on VAT, and calls to implement all parts of it as an indivisible whole - however  also urges all stakeholders to look into how services can be incorporated into the new system more quickly;
  • underlines that the transformation of the current system should result in a definitive VAT system that is clear, consistent, robust and comprehensive, as well as proportionate and future-proof;
  • endorses the proposal to opt for the country of destination principle, as it will create a level playing field for all suppliers in the same national market;
  • emphasizes that close attention should be paid to how business-friendly the system is; Further-reaching simplification and reducing the administrative burden should be examined more closely, whereby consideration could be given to a proportionate approach that benefits SMEs;
  • calls for the comprehensive provision of useful information in a modern form, for example via a web portal, for the benefit of businesses;
  • welcomes the strong focus on closing the VAT gap and tackling the susceptibility of VAT to fraud; There should be results delivered without delay, including by improving cooperation between tax administrations and with customs administrations, making tax administrations more efficient (in terms of human, financial and technical resources) and boosting Eurofisc's role, strengthening voluntary compliance with the rules, and improving tax collection;
  • stresses that practical actions to combat fraud must be targeted and proportionate; “Bona fide” enterprises should be protected and no new excessive measures should be imposed on them;
  • welcomes the focus on new developments in e-commerce and business types;
  • feels that the future system of reduced rates must combine flexibility and legal certainty, be transparent, and for the sake of simplicity the number of reduced rates and exemptions must be limited;
  • The option of an extension and regular review of the list of goods and services eligible for reduced rates is in this sense preferable to an abolition of that list coupled with allowing MS greater freedom on the number of reduced rates and their level.


VAT Action Plan - Measures to modernise VAT in the EU - Bertrand LAPALUS - DG TAXUD