Reform of the EU VAT system: proposals of the EU Commission

On October 4th 2017, the European Commission adopted several proposals aimed at modernizing the EU VAT system and at tackling the so-called “carousel fraud”.

In this respect, the Commission notably proposed the following:

  • The taxation of intra-Community deliveries at the rate applicable in the Member State of destination thanks to a One-Stop-Shop system,
  • The implementation of a “temporary” system allowing some categories of operators to apply the reverse-charge mechanism to intra-Community deliveries,
  • The simplification of some transactions such as chain transactions and call-off stock arrangements, and of the rules applicable to the proof of exemption for intra-Community deliveries,
  • A clarification on the obligation of proof of the VAT identification of the customer for intra-Community deliveries.

In order to implement these various measures, the Commission proposed simplification tools: a “One-Stop-Shop” and a certification mechanism for “reliable” operators.

It should be noted that these simplification tools will be available to certified operators only.

At this stage, as underlined by the Commission itself, these are only principles. The Commission paved the way for future actions. Indeed, the implementation of these principles (“cornerstones”) is conditioned by the adoption of enforcement actions the Commission should propose by the middle of next year.