News from the EU April 2020

European Commission


Stephen Quest to leave DG TAXUD

From 1 May, the current Director-General of DG TAXUD, Stephen Quest, will move to become the Director-General of the Commission’s in-house science service, Joint Research Centre (JRC).

Mr. Quest has been at DG TAXUD since 2016, spearheading most of the key tax proposals that came out of the European Commission in the last term.

His successor as the new DG TAXUD Director-General is still to be confirmed.


European Commission still on track for its tax initiatives this year, despite corona

According to a draft revised Work Programme 2020 seen by Accountancy Europe, the Commission’s expected tax initiatives are still on schedule despite the corona crisis.

The Commission is currently revising the 2020 schedule for its planned initiatives, given the pressure and difficulties that the current corona outbreak is causing on its functioning. However, the Action Plan for the fight against tax evasion and the Communication on business taxation for the 21st century are still scheduled for 10 June and 24 June, respectively. The Commission document states that these initiatives are among its “strategic priorities” – demonstrating once again the new Commission’s commitment to continue in the ambitious tax footsteps of the previous one.

The final revised Work Programme will not become available and public before end-April at least, so there may still be changes in the end.


EU to suspend tariffs, VAT on medical equipment to fight Covid-19

The European Commission has proposed to temporarily allow EU member states to suspend tariffs and VAT on imported protective medical equipment in response to the worsening Covid-19 crisis.

The Commission decision will be applicable from 30 January 2020 until 31 July 2020. This allows imports carried out during the incipient phase of the outbreak to also benefit from the exemption.

The move comes after several EU governments asked the Commission to authorize the suspension of both levies at national level.

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European Commission calls for applications to expert group on exchange of payment data to combat VAT fraud

The European Commission has opened a call for candidates to a new expert group it is setting up on the exchange and transmission of payment data to combat VAT fraud.

The group’s tasks shall be to assist DG TAXUD in the implementation of article 24c of the amended Regulation (EU) 904/2010 on administrative cooperation and combating VAT fraud, and in the implementation of the legislative package introducing transmission and exchange of payment data to fight VAT fraud and the development of the Central Electronic System of Payment information (“CESOP”).

The deadline for applications is 24 April. 

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MEP Questions

Commission assessing further measures to render EU VAT system more robust

  • Question by MEP Engin Eroglu (RE/Germany)
  • Reply by Commissioner Gentiloni

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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.

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News from IVA members

Rethinking the State Taxation of Services After Covid-19

In their article Michael J. Bernard and George L. Salis argue that when policymaker...

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News from EC

News from the EU July 2020

The European Commission has published its latest tax trends data for Europe. The data shows that in 2018, tax revenues as percentage of GDP increased slightly in the EU 27 up to 40.2%. Revenues remained almost equally distributed among indirect taxes...

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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.