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April 24, 2024

European Commission Group on the Future of VAT publishes minutes of 44th meeting

On 17 April 2024, the Group on the Future of value-added tax (VAT) of the European Commission (GFV) published the minutes of its 44th meeting, which took place on 21 March 2024.

Topics discussed included:

  • The implementation of the new scheme for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which will apply from 1 January 2025
  • The single VAT registration elements of the VAT in the Digital Age (ViDA) package
  • The status of negotiations in the Council of the European Union (EU) regarding ViDA
  • EU customs reform

The next meeting of the GFV is expected to take place on 28 May 2024.

Highlights of the discussion, based on the minutes, follow.

Implementation of the new SME scheme

The new SME scheme will apply from 1 January 2025.

The Commission presented the second draft of the Explanatory Notes related to the operation of the scheme, including practical examples and figures. It also presented a first draft of the guide to the SME scheme, which sets out its key elements and explains how it will work from a practical perspective.

An SME web portal is being developed that will host an "SME VAT simulator" to check the potential eligibility to apply the cross-border SME scheme and provide access to a database to check the validity of the identification numbers (referred to as "EX numbers") of small enterprises applying the new scheme.

ViDA proposals — single VAT registration

The Commission presented its initial analysis regarding implementation of the single VAT registration elements of the ViDA package. Among other things, this analysis identified possible information technology changes that will be required and listed the areas within the Implementing Acts, Explanatory Notes and Guides that need to be updated.

The analysis provides the foundation for a workshop that will take place by the end of June in Helsinki.

Status of ViDA negotiations in the EU Council

The Commission reported that negotiations on ViDA in the Council resumed in January 2024 and some technical work is still needed. Nevertheless, considerable progress has been made, as demonstrated in the Spanish Presidency's report dated 8 December 2023, which explained that an agreement had been reached on the single VAT registration portion of the package.

The Commission stressed that ViDA is a priority for the Belgian Presidency, which expects an agreement to be reached during its term (in May or June 2024).

Customs reform, including the VAT proposal

The Commission noted that a three-step customs reform and VAT proposal has been agreed to, involving:

  1. Securing Import One-Stop Shop (IOSS) numbers by linking them with a unique identifier for the goods
  2. Making IOSS compulsory in ViDA
  3. Removing the €150 threshold for customs
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Published by NTD’s Tax Technical Knowledge Services group; Carolyn Wright, legal editor

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