European VAT News - December 2018


From 1st January 2019, tax payers may opt to apply for VAT on professional rent, only when the construction of the respective building started as from 1st October 2018.

Bulgaria - 2019 Intrastat thresholds

The National Statistical Institute announced the new Intrastat thresholds, effective from 1 January 2019:

  • Intrastat Dispatches - BGN 280,000;
  • Intrastat Arrivals - BGN 460,000 

In addition, the thresholds for declaring statistical value will be:

  • Intrastat Dispatches - BGN 14,400,000;
  • Intrastat Arrivals - BGN 7,400,000

The single low-value transactions threshold will remain the same: BGN 390.

New e-services in Bulgaria

The National Revenue Agency is now providing, among others, the following new e-services:

  • Submission of online applications for the issuing of certificates of tax residence;
  • Notifications under the VAT Act.


Following ECJ decision in case C-320/17, published in the July VAT news, the Danish Tax Agency held that in order for the holding of shares to be considered as an economic activity, the holding company must be involved in the management of the subsidiary and the transactions performed are subject to VAT.


From 1 October 2018 the concept of the “building land” has been introduced. VAT must be charged on the supplies of building land if:

  • construction has been planned, and
  • the land will be used for residential or commercial purposes.


Decree no. 2018-865 of 8 October 2018 has established 30 September as the time limit to submit VAT refund claims by taxable persons established in an EU country other than France.

France – Abolition of “Saisonnier” VAT declarations

The periodic returns relating to seasonal activities (“Saisonnier”) are abolished. From the end of the third quarter of 2018, all companies must submit regular quarterly or monthly VAT Returns – even NIL returns, depending on their annual VAT due.


On 15 October 2018 was published Circular 1184, which provides clarifications on the VAT exemption procedure for products in free circulation placed into customs warehouse and also on the placing of domestic products into a customs warehouse. 


On 2 October 2018, Hungary has been granted, by the Commission, with an authorization that allows to apply the VAT exemption to taxable persons with an annual turnover below than EUR 48 000.

VAT on the leasing of passenger cars

On 2 October 2018, the Council granted to Hungary an authorization that allows the derogation from the Articles 26(1)(a), 168 and 168a of the VAT Directive, enabling Hungary to fix a deduction percentage of the VAT incurred on the leasing of passenger vehicles.


From 1 January 2019, Malta is to harmonise its VAT rate on digital books and online journals with their reduced-rated paper equivalents at 5%. 

This follows the EU Council’s adopted proposal to allow EU member states to cut rates on electronic publications to match the rate on their printed equivalents.


From 1 April 2019, Poland will cut the VAT rate applicable to e-books to 5% from 23%.

This follows the EU Council’s proposal to allow EU member states to cut rates on electronic publications to match the rate on their printed equivalents.


From 1 January 2019, Slovakia will reduce the VAT rate for hotels and similar accommodation services from 20% to 10%.

This decrease is aimed at boosting the tourism sector and mirrors the VAT subsidies that most EU countries give to their travel and hospitality sectors.


The obligation to submit Intrastat declarations has been extended to distance sellers. According to the change of rules, distance sellers that exceed the threshold of 140 000 EUR will have to register with the Federal Statistical Office, even in the absence of any explicit request or notification.


Effective from 1 January 2019, the registration threshold for distance sales will be 100 000 CHF (annually).

In this sense, if the 2018 annual turnover exceeds or the expected annual turnover in 2019 will exceed this threshold, the company has a tax liability as from 1 January 2019.


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News from the Board

IVA Meeting with the Portuguese Tax Authorities

The International VAT Association (IVA), represented by its President, Stephen Dale, and Board Member, Fátima Gouveia, met with the representatives of the Portuguese Secretary of State for Tax Affairs and of the Portuguese VAT Authority on the 9th of July 2019, in Lisbon. The IVA thanked the authorities for meeting with us at short notice.

Download the full Communique soon available.

News from IVA members

Mexico proposes the implementation of VAT on e-commerce supplies

The Mexican senate is proposing to levy VAT at 16%, on digital e-commerce supplies provided to consumers by non-resident online platforms...

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News from EC

News from EU - August 2019

Cross-border rulings (pilot project) – Update July 2019

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Disclaimer:  The information contained in the present page is general and does not constitute legal advice. Before taking any decision or action on the above information you should take the appropriate professional advice.