EuroCommerce: Further VAT Fragmentation Bad For Business
EuroCommerce, the group that represents the European retail and wholesale sector, has said that more flexibility on the part of Member States to set their own VAT rates could raise problems for retailers.
"Businesses are already confronted with some 100 different VAT rates across Europe, and differing ways of defining products and services covered by them," commented Christian Verschueren, EuroCommerce director general. "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.”
Verschueren was commenting following the announcement of proposals, which form part of the European Commission's VAT Action Plan, to introduce measures that make it easier for smaller companies to deal with VAT.
However, this could in turn create a more complex VAT structure, which will 'do nothing to help simplify doing business', EuroCommerce said in a statement.
“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.”
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.