In October, the European Commission will propose a standard VAT return form for businesses. Every year 150 million VAT returns are submitted to EU tax administrations. However, the reporting obligations vary in all 28 member states making it very difficult for companies that do business in more than one member state to comply with so many different rules. The Commission’s proposal to standardize VAT reporting obligations across all 28 member states will lift one of the biggest obstacles for companies to expand their business opportunities in the single market, especially small European businesses.
On 6 December 2011, the European Commission set out a strategy for the future of VAT in Europe. It sets out a number of actions to create a simpler, more efficient and more robust VAT system in the EU tailored to the single market, including a standard VAT reform. Today’s proposal also responds to SMEs indications that VAT rules are one of the top ten difficulties and costs they face when setting up business and expanding across borders within Europe.