Volume 27 (2018)

Volume 27 (2018) / Issue 2

Madeleine Merkx, John Gruson, Naomie Verbaan, Bart van der Doef, 'Definitive VAT Regime: Stairway to Heaven or Highway to Hell?' (2018) 27 EC Tax Review, Issue 2, pp. 74–82


The current VAT system was intended to be a transitional system applying an origin-based taxation system and it is generally found to be complex and susceptible to VAT fraud. The legislative proposals for a definitive VAT system for cross-border trade as announced by the European Commission on 4 October 2017 relies therefore on a radically different method of taxation based on the principle of taxation in the country of destination of the goods. Part of the proposals is four quick fixes intended to simplify various aspects relating to the current VAT system for cross-border trade and the introduction of the Certified Taxable Person status. In this article the authors comment on the individual components of the proposals and address the various questions the proposals raise. It is highly likely that adoption of the proposed measures will lead to a more uniform application of VAT rules and legal certainty for businesses. However, due to various reasons the phenomenon of the Certified Taxable Person will prove to be an important obstacle in achieving the required unanimity in the Economic and Financial Council.

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ISSN: 0928-2750
ID: ECTA2018009