Council Fails to Reach Agreement on European Union VAT Proposals

Charles Riordan
June 19, 2017

Two proposals to transform European VAT law have failed to gain approval of the EU’s Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN). Both proposals needed unanimous approval of the delegates to become law.

ECOFIN began its meeting of June 16 by debating a proposal that would allow Member States to apply reduced VAT rates to electronic publications. The Czech Finance Minister objected to this, on the grounds that ECOFIN will soon receive a general proposal on reduced rates as part of the European Commission’s 2016 Action Plan on VAT, which in the Minister’s opinion made the specific proposal on e-publications untimely. Moments later, a Czech-backed plan for a pilot “generalized reverse charge” program was opposed by the French delegation, which had strongly supported the e-publications proposal. The Czech plan would have allowed certain Member States the option to temporarily apply a reverse charge on all supplies of goods and services within their borders, in an effort to combat VAT fraud. 

Both proposals will remain in limbo until brought again before ECOFIN. Supporters hope that the Estonian Presidency, which takes office in July, will raise the issues again at the first available opportunity. ECOFIN’s next scheduled meeting is July 11.

The post Council Fails to Reach Agreement on European Union VAT Proposals appeared first on Sovos.

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Charles Riordan

Charles Riordan is a member of the Regulatory Analysis team at Sovos specializing in international taxation, with a focus on Value Added Tax systems in the European Union. Charles received his J.D. from Boston College Law School in 2013 and is an active member of the Massachusetts Bar.
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