EU Seeking To Standardise VAT Returns
25 October 2013
Posted by: Author: Colm Kelpie
Author: Colm Kelpie (Irish Independent)
THE European Commission has proposed a new standard VAT return, which it claims will cut costs for businesses by up to €15bn and slash red tape.
The Brussels-based body said the move also had the potential to reduce fraud across the European Union and cut the VAT gap.
proposal sets out a uniform set of requirements for businesses when
they are filing their VAT returns, regardless of the member state in
which they do it.
"Given that the simpler procedures are easier to
comply with and easier to enforce, today's proposal should also help to
improve VAT compliance and increase public revenues," the commission
said in a statement.
Every year, 150 million VAT returns are submitted by EU taxpayers to national tax administrations.
the information requested, the format of national forms and the
reporting deadlines vary considerably from one country to the next.
The proposed new standard VAT will have only five compulsory boxes to fill in.
Countries are given leeway to request a number of additional standardised elements, up to a maximum of 26 information boxes.
is a vast improvement on the current situation, whereby some member
states require up to 100 information boxes to be completed," the
Businesses will file the standard VAT return on a
monthly basis, while micro-enterprises will only be obliged to do it on
a quarterly basis.
The obligation to submit a so-called
recapitulative yearly VAT return, which some countries currently demand,
would be abolished.
The proposal also encourages electronic
filing, as the standard VAT return will be allowed to be submitted
electronically throughout the EU.
VAT accounts for around 21pc of member states' revenues, yet around €193bn went uncollected in 2011.
creating an easier system for both taxpayers and administrations to
work with, the standard VAT return can improve tax compliance and reduce
the VAT gap," the commission said.
It added: "As such, today's
proposal could make an important contribution to fiscal consolidation
across the EU by increasing income to the public purse."
The proposal will now be sent to the European Parliament for approval.
This article first appeared in independent.ie.