EU yet to reach an agreement on VAT in the digital age (ViDA) proposal

31 May 2024

During May 2024, the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) failed to reach agreement on the EU Commission’s proposed changes to VAT rules included as part of the VAT in the digital age (ViDA) initiative. 

The ViDA initiative is being proposed to revamp the European Union’s (EU) VAT system by implementing a series of digital measures that aim to modernise, simplify, and make the EU VAT system more resilient to VAT fraud. 

If agreed, the ViDA changes will be gradually implemented, and the measures include:

1 - Digital Reporting Requirements (DRR) — 

A real-time digital reporting system for VAT purposes (based on electronic invoicing) will be used by businesses that undertake domestic reverse charge sales and cross-border sales in the EU (both goods and services). 

It’s hoped by implementing this system it will eventually eliminate the current European Sales Listing reporting obligations as the new system will allow tax authorities to view intra-EU trade as it happens, meaning they can spot any discrepancies or errors. 

It will also allow EU member states to step up the fight against VAT fraud while also bringing down the administrative burden and compliance costs for traders by streamlining processes and removing reporting requirements.

The introduction date for DDR is being proposed as July 2030.

2 - Updated VAT rules for passenger transport and short-term accommodation platforms

Under the new proposed rules, platform economy operators will become responsible for collecting and remitting VAT to tax authorities in these sectors.

This will ensure a consistent approach across all member states when applying VAT on these types of services and will provide more of a level playing field between online and traditional sales of short-term accommodation and transport services. It could also simplify life for small businesses in this area, as they will no longer have to comply with each country’s specific VAT rules or register in multiple EU jurisdictions.

The Introduction date is also being proposed as July 2030.

3 - The extension of the One Stop Shop return in the EU, and harmonisation of domestic reverse charge rules

The extension of the use of the One Stop Shop system to include further e-commerce supplies, (including the supply and installation of goods, goods sold at exhibitions and own stock movements of goods to fulfil from another EU country), cross border supplies of natural gas, heating and cooling energy, and some business-to-business (B2B) reverse charge transactions, will allow thousands more suppliers to use this system to fulfil their VAT obligations via a single online portal in one single language. 

This pillar will also see EU member states harmonise the use of the reverse charge mechanism applicable when non-established businesses sell and deliver goods to customers domestically in a country. Currently EU countries implement these rules differently meaning some require you to VAT register and some do not. By harmonising these rules it should make it easier for non-established suppliers to understand their obligations when trading in the EU. 

If an agreement on the proposals is reached, we will be providing further detailed information on each of these new initiatives both within our newsletters and to any affected clients; however, if you want to learn more now, please visit the Europa website here.

Are you trading globally? Whether you require basic VAT advice or specific VAT compliance support, Fiscal Solutions can help. Our team of multi-lingual experts are knowledgeable in all the different VAT rules in Europe and around the world.

We help you simplify today’s complexities and address tomorrow’s challenges. The values we represent, and our consistent advice, mean you can trust Fiscal Solutions to do the right thing – for you and your organisation.

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