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VAT - derogation - reverse charge

EESC opinion: VAT - derogation - reverse charge

Key points:



  • supports the measures that the European Union has put in place to tackle all forms of tax fraud and takes the view that the reverse charge mechanism for collecting value added tax (VAT) may be a useful tool in countering carousel fraud and VAT evasion.
  • finds that, the use of the reverse charge mechanism, which is a derogation from the established principles on VAT, must not be allowed to harm the internal market and it must be temporary and properly assessed by the Commission.
  • recommends focusing particular attention on the proportionality principle, as the cost of compliance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) related to introducing a reverse charge mechanism could be considerable.
  • emphasises that solutions adopted to combat VAT fraud should not impose excessive and disproportionate burdens on tax compliant businesses, particularly SMEs.
  • considers that to ensure that this legislative proposal functions correctly and to reduce any future need to use additional derogations relating to the established principles and rules on the VAT system in the EU, Member States requesting the application of the reverse charge mechanism should impose specific and tangible electronic invoicing requirements to ensure that payments are fully traceable.