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Proposal for a Council Directive amending Directive 2006/112/EC on the common system of VAT in respect of the standard VAT return


European Commission proposes a mandatory standard VAT return, which would allow businesses across the EU to submit a VAT return in a uniform format in each Member State in which they are liable to file the VAT return. The proposal deals with issues relating to the content, timing and mode of submission and modifications to the standard VAT return. Member States will have to harmonize their national laws and regulations with the Directive by December 31st 2016 at the latest.

The proposal provides that the VAT return includes no more than 26 fields, which the companies would be required to fill in, while Member States have the option to reduce this requirement to only 5 types of information (the amount of output and input VAT, the related net amounts and the net amount to be paid or refunded). Submission of these five types of information is already required under existing legislation of all Member States. The information required will need to be harmonized, so that the information submitted in one Member State, will be defined in exactly the same manner as in all the other Member States. The Proposal also gives Member States the option to require additional information for the control and management of VAT for specific regions, territories or specific arrangements, if permitted as exceptions in the VAT legislation.

Proposal encourages the submission of VAT returns in a standard electronic format, including electronic transfer of files, using advanced electronic signatures that can be applied throughout the EU, or other technologies which provide a similar level of security.


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Saša Sodja