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European VAT News

European VAT News November 2020

By November 27, 2020July 10th, 2021No Comments

According to the Austria Digital Tax Act 2020, and in line with what is already happening in other EU countries, Amazon is liable to share with the Austrian Tax Authorities the information related to the transactions carried out in the Country…


According to the Austria Digital Tax Act 2020, and in line with what is already happening in other EU countries, Amazon is liable to share with the Austrian Tax Authorities the information related to the transactions carried out in the Country, including the identity of the sellers and the Austrian VAT number of those companies which have an obligation to be VAT registered.

In light of this, companies that are required to be VAT registered in Austria are requested to upload their Austrian VAT number on Seller Central by December 31, 2020, in order to avoid the suspension of their account until they become complaint with Austrian VAT law.



The Belgium tax authorities have recently provided clarifications regarding the VAT treatment of vouchers, that were introduced on 1 January 2019. In this extent, the word “voucher” is the instrument referred in article 1, paragraph 15 of the Belgian VAT Code. On the other hand, instruments that are not vouchers, are mentioned as tickets or coupons.



The National Revenue Agency has recently clarified that the reduced VAT rate of 9% which is applicable to books and certain other publications, as from 1 July 2020, comprise items such as musical score editions and books with illustrations, provided that they are not mainly intended for advertising or mainly composed by video or audio content. On the other hand, it has also been clarified that antique books, posters and other items are subject to the standard VAT rate of 20%.


COVID-19 crisis: Reduced VAT Rate

In order to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic, the Bulgarian Tax Authorities decided for the application of the reduced VAT rate of 9% to sports facilities and to the supply of services for the use of sports facilities, until 31 December 2021.

In this context, the Bulgarian Tax Authorities provided some clarifications in which it was elucidated that this reduced VAT rate could only be applied to sports facilities if, among other conditions, they have the purpose to facilitate the exercise of sports and physical activities.


2021 Intrastat Thresholds

Bulgaria has recently announced the Intrastat thresholds for 2021.

In this context, for reporting Intrastat Dispatches, the threshold will be 270 000 BGN and for reporting Intrastat Arrivals it will be 430 000 BGN.

In addition, for declaring statistical value the thresholds will be 14 700 000 BGN for Intrastat Dispatches, and 7 300 000 BGN for Intrastat Arrivals.

On the other hand, it will remain 390 BGN the threshold for simplified reporting of single low-value transactions.



The Cyprian Tax Department issued a circular providing some clarifications regarding the mandatory application of the reverse charge mechanism on supplies of certain goods. In this context, the circular foresees that, as from 1 October 2020, supplies of goods such as mobile phones (and certain related material), tablets and laptops must apply the reverse charge mechanism, regardless of whether the seller is VAT registered, or not.



The Greek Tax Authorities have recently clarified that the 6% reduced VAT rate is applicable to masks used for the protection against viruses and for the avoidance of transmission of deceases. Furthermore, it has been also clarified that it applies to all stages of the supply of the mask, including upon its importation into Greece.


New measures adopted

The Greek Tax Authorities have recently adopted a bill which foresees the increased deduction of advertising expenditures, the applicability of the reduced VAT rate for transports, certain beverages and cinema tickets.


New debt settlement regime announced

The Greek Tax Authorities have recently announced a new debt settlement regime for tax liabilities regarding which the payment has been suspended. In this context, companies affected by the pandemic, who have remitted the VAT due on the March VAT return, may pay it until 30 April 2021. In addition, as from May 2021, it is possible to pay the VAT in 12 instalments, without interest, or in 24 instalments at a 2.5% interest rate. Notwithstanding, companies that applied another debt settlement regime and saw their VAT liabilities suspended until 30 April 2020, must continue to pay the respective instalments under such initial regime.


VAT Refund Procedure

Greece has recently announced that non-EU companies, who request VAT refunds in Greece, will be subject to the same procedure applied for the VAT refunds requested by EU companies, provided that in the respective third country it is granted a similar VAT benefit to the Greek companies.



B2B sales will be subject to real-time reporting obligations in Hungary irrespective of their value. The current rules exclude sales of goods below 100,000 HUF (around 300 €). Intra-community sales and domestic reverse charge sales will continue to be excluded from this obligation. On a second stage, as from 1 January 2021, B2C sales should be reported in real-time to the Hungarian tax authorities. These sales will not be included when they are part of the Mini-One Stop Shop (MOSS) scheme foreseen for distance sales of goods as from 1 July 2021.

Although domestic purchases are not reported in real-time, as from 1 July 2020, all domestic purchases should be reported in the local listing of sales and purchases. This is a periodic reporting obligation equivalent to SAF-T returns or control reports, as it includes details of all domestic sales and purchases made in the country.


Changes on XML data and tax authorities’ tool

In addition to the changes in the scope of this obligation, Hungarian tax authorities introduced changes to the way invoices are reported in the system and the options available in their database.

Going forward, it will be possible to download all data reported by the counterparties of each transaction. This option will allow businesses to reconcile their data with data reported by other taxpayers, hence minimizing the risk of questions from the tax authorities due to discrepancies.

The new system will also allow easier reporting of credit notes and changes to existing invoices, as well as cancelling invoices previously reported.

The new 2.0 XML schema will include changes in the structure and data required. For example, the reporting software used, the date of delivery and conversion into HUF of all amounts in the XML should be included in the new schema.

Further information about the 2.0 XML schema can be found in the website of the Hungarian tax authorities.



The Irish government announced a temporary reduction to 9% of the VAT rate applicable to the hospitality and tourism sectors. This reduction will apply from 1 November 2020 until 31 December 2021.

In addition, the reduction of the standard VAT rate from 23% to 21% will be applicable until the end of February of 2021.


Isle of Man

The application of the 5% reduced VAT rate, to hospitality and attractions, has been extended until 31 March 2021. 

In addition, companies that have deferred the VAT due on the March, April, May and June 2020 VAT declarations, have the possibility to pay it now by small instalments over the years 2021 and 2022, without the application of interest.



The deadline for qualifying taxable persons to adhere to the Tax Authorities’ online service, through which they can consult and download issued and received electronic invoices, has been extended until 28 February 2021.



The time frame related to retroactive VAT deduction for buildings completed between 1 September 2019 until 30 June 2021 has been extended from 6 to 12 months.



Starting with the operations performed on 1 September 2020, it became mandatory to report on the Local Listing whether a taxable person performed, or not, transactions with affiliates in Romania.


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