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European VAT News

European VAT News – December 2019

By December 18, 2019July 10th, 2021No Comments

Austria will increase the VAT registration threshold for small businesses to EUR 35,000 net with effect as of 1 January 2020….


Austria will increase the VAT registration threshold for small businesses to EUR 35,000 net with effect as of 1 January 2020.

In the ECJ decision Vega (C-235/2018) the charging on of fuel when using a fuel card was qualified as a supply of services. The Austrian tax authorities have now published the final version of the VAT maintenance decree 2019 and will apply the ECJ’s ruling in the Vega decision only to individual cases involving the administration of fuel cards. The initially planned general application of the decision to fuel card sales has not been implemented. The sole purchase and resale of fuel using fuel cards may still be treated as a supply of fuel in the chain.



The EU Directive 2018/1910 on harmonization and simplification of VAT for cross-border trade was approved in the parliament. The respective draft bill, if finally approved, will enter into force in 1 January 2020 and contains, among others, (i.) simplification measures related to call-off stock arrangements, (ii.) introduction of a substantial requirement for the application of the VAT exemption on intra EU supplies, i.e. the VAT number of the purchaser must be identified. Also, it is required that the supply is properly and timely included in the respective IC Sales Listing declaration. The draft bill also foresees (iii.) specific rules that attribute the intra-Community transport of the goods to a concrete supply within a chain of transactions.



In Croatia, registrations of beneficial owners must be made by 31 December 2019. A beneficial owner is any natural person who ultimately owns or controls a legal entity or who otherwise controls the legal entity. If the registration requirement is not met, penalties of between HRK 5,000 and HRK 350,000 may be imposed on the legal entity itself and penalties of between HRK 5,000 and HRK 35,000 may be imposed on any individual managing director.


Czech Republic

The Council of the European Union has approved the Czech Republic’s proposal to apply a general reverse charge mechanism to B2B sales taxable in the Czech Republic. Therefore, presumably as of 1 July 2020, the reverse charge mechanism will be applicable to all B2B sales taxable in the Czech Republic.



The Greek government has announced that it intends to reduce current Greece’s VAT rates. Greece is planning the reduction of the standard VAT rate from 24% to 22% and of the reduced VAT rate from 13% to 11%. Nevertheless, the exact date of the changeover has yet to be announced.



Hungary will reduce its VAT rate for accommodation services from 18% to 5% as of 1 January 2020.



As from 1 January 2020, the VAT rate of 0% will continue to be applied only to specific groups of food, to vitamins and minerals, such as folic acid licensed as medicines and fortified foods. However, the VAT rate for food supplement products will be increased to 13%



The Dutch tax authorities will assign a new Dutch VAT ID number to sole traders registered for VAT purposes in the Netherlands. This newly issued VAT ID number is required to be used for intra-Community transactions as of 1 January 2020. The previously issued Dutch VAT ID number will become invalid with effect as of 1 January 2020. For other company forms the current Dutch VAT ID number remains valid.



As of January 2020, Norway will introduce a simplified VAT registration for online distance sellers. The simplified registration for distance sellers will be the same as it has been for e-services providers since 2016. The simplified registration will be introduced as the threshold for importing low-value goods will be totally abolished. Hence, from the very first euro of imported goods, sales by distance sellers will be subject to Norwegian VAT.



Portugal has extended the deadline for payment of VAT due for monthly and quarterly VAT returns effective from 1 October 2019. The deadline for payment of VAT due resulting from monthly VAT returns now ends on the 15th of the second following month and for quarterly VAT returns on the 20th of the second following month. However, the deadlines for submitting the VAT returns remain unchanged (10th and 15th of the second following month).



HMRC has announced that the obligation of Intrastat reporting will remain in force even after a Brexit. The Intrastat return is actually a reporting obligation between EU Member States introduced for statistical purposes. Nevertheless, HMRC has insisted on this additional reporting obligation continuing, even after a hard Brexit. The thresholds and reporting deadlines will remain unchanged. Intrastat reporting will be required in addition to a customs declaration. From the point of view of the remaining EU Member States, i.e. for supplies to the UK, Intrastat reporting will no longer be required.


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