EuroCommerce warns against fragmentation of VAT systems in the EU | RetailDetail

EuroCommerce warns against fragmentation of VAT systems in the EU

EuroCommerce warns against fragmentation of VAT systems in the EU
© Shutterstock

(content provided by EuroCommerce) The latest proposals on VAT rates and special schemes for small enterprises raise some concerns for retailers and wholesalers - fears European retail and wholesale organisation EuroCommerce.


"We need a more harmonised approach"

EuroCommerce has always been supportive of the Commission’s 2016 VAT Action Plan and the measures outlined in it to facilitate VAT compliance for companies: the company has already welcomed the extension of the VAT One Stop Shop as an important step in the right direction. 


Christian Verschueren, Director-General at EuroCommerce commented: “Some Member States are asking for more flexibility in setting VAT rates. Businesses are already confronted with some 100 different VAT rates across Europe, and differing ways of defining products and services covered by them. We are certainly in favour of lower VAT rates, but giving Member States flexibility to add a multiplicity of new reduced rates will simply add to an already complex situation, when what we need is a simpler, more harmonised approach. Companies need reliable information to operate, and we will be looking at how the announced EU-wide web-portal can deliver companies easier access to information on VAT rates.”


In principle, the proposals making it easier for small companies to deal with VAT will help some companies reduce their compliance costs. But the proposals leave it to Member States to decide whether they want to introduce such VAT facilitation. Dealing with different VAT systems in the Single Market is one of the main barriers for retailers and wholesalers of all sizes, and variations between Member State regimes will do nothing to help simplify doing business. The proposed measures will be linked to the introduction of a definitive VAT regime.


Verschueren added: “The difficult decision-making process in the EU related to taxation slows down the reforms which businesses urgently need. It is frustrating for retailers and wholesalers to see that welcome changes such as the One-Stop shop and abolition of the VAT threshold for imports of small consignments will only be in place from 2021.”

Questions or comments? Please feel free to contact the editors

Gerelateerde items

Régis Degelcke new EuroCommerce president


Régis Degelcke is the new president of EuroCommerce. The chairman of Auchan will start his three-year mandate in July.

Tom&Co eyes 100 French stores


Belgian pet shop chain Tom&Co continues its expansion in France with the opening of its 25th French store in Nantes. With a new concept, the chain hopes to be able to quickly expand to 100 stores in France.

France wants e-commerce tax


If the French government get their way, the Hexagon will soon introduce a tax on e-commerce. Products would become 1 to 2 % more expensive, depending on the distance of the last delivery.

Toy store chain La Grande Récré pulls plug on Belgium


French toy store chain La Grande Récré has decided to focus on the French market and to close its Belgian branch, due to continuing financial difficulties. 16 stores will close, causing a job loss of 95.

Join us for Europe’s largest retail and e-retail event!


(advertorial) The fourth edition of Paris Retail Week will take place September 10 – 12, 2018 in Pavilion 1 at Paris Expo Porte de Versailles. For three days, Paris will be the capital of experiential and connected commerce, bringing together 800 participating companies and 40,000 retail and e-commerce professionals.

Karstadt aims to reinvent department stores in Berlin


German department store chain Karstadt is to open two stores in Berlin, that aim to reinvent themselves as a "networked marketplace". It will be the first new Karstadt department stores in the German capital for thirty years.