The European Commission has launched a public consultation on its "One Stop Shop" project for suppliers to the general public to file one single, community-wide VAT return with their own tax office.
For some time, the European Commission has been looking for ways to ease the VAT lot of cross-border suppliers of goods and services within the EU. Supplies to other businesses (B2B) are not seen as a major problem, given the widespread application of reverse-charge/acquisition tax schemes for effectively moving the VAT reporting and accounting obligation from the non-resident supplier to the domestic customer. However, sales to consumers (B2C) cannot be treated the same way, since consumers do not have their own local VAT reporting status. The Commission, though, points to the administrative and language difficulties often faced by suppliers with VAT obligations in two or more countries, which it sees as an impediment to the full blossoming of the internal market.
Its proposal is to establish a "One Stop Shop" system of VAT reporting, whereby each trader would report his entire Europe-wide sales (and inputs) to his own tax office or other point within his home country. Assessment and collection procedures would follow local rules and customs. The tax on consumer sales abroad would be collected at the foreign rate and forwarded to the responsible authority. The Commission has now called on those affected, including especially smaller businesses dealing directly with consumers, as well as interested members of the public to air their views in a public consultation. The consultation closes on July 31. The details as well as the necessary background information are available from http://europa.eu.int/comm/taxation_customs/taxation/consultations/one_stop_en.htm".
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