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European VAT News

European VAT News – December 2023

By December 22, 2023No Comments


The Belgian Council of Ministers released new draft legislation confirming it will introduce a mandatory e-invoicing regime from 1 January 2026.

The new regime will make it mandatory for all VAT-registered companies to issue their invoices in an electronic format when selling to other businesses and to declare these to the Belgian tax authorities for verification via a new e-invoicing platform.

Belgium joins other EU countries that have recently announced delays to the introduction of e-invoicing, including France, Germany, and Spain.

Czech Republic 

The Czech parliament has now given its approval to consolidating the country’s two reduced VAT rates of 10% and 15% into a consolidated rate of 12%, as well as to reduce the VAT rate on physical books to zero.

This will take effect from 1 January 2024. The two reduced rates currently apply to the following supplies:

  • 10% – Baby and gluten-free foodstuffs, newspapers, certain pharmaceutical goods and services, accommodation, restaurants and hospitality services, certain books and e-books, and admission to cultural events.

  • 15% – Certain foodstuffs, non-alcoholic beverages, takeaway food, certain medical goods, certain passenger transport, certain books, e-books, and amusement parks

There will be no change to the standard VAT rate of 21%.


From 1 January 2024, the Irish tax authorities will reduce the VAT rate applied to electronic and audio books to the zero rate.

This brings the VAT rate into line with the rate applied to the printed equivalent.


From 1 January 2024, Luxembourg will increase the standard rate of VAT (which applies to most goods and services supplied in the country) from 16% to 17%.

At the same time, the lower VAT rates (which applies to a limited amount of goods and services including printed materials, gas and electricity) will also increase from 13% and 7% to 14% and 8% respectively.

This increase will take the VAT rates in the country back to their normal levels and ends the temporary reduction that was implemented from January 2023.


From 1 January 2024, the Romanian tax authorities will increase the VAT rate from 9% to 19% on the following supplies:

  • Sugary foods (including non-alcoholic soft drinks)

  • Restaurant and catering services

  • Cultural services (including theatre and cinema admission)


The UK Parliament’s European Scrutiny Committee has published concerns around the EU’s VAT in the Digital Age (ViDA) 2025 proposals to make the Import One Stop Shop mandatory and to remove the low value threshold of €150.

The committee highlighted that making the IOSS mandatory with no low value threshold would force UK businesses into using the reporting mechanism. This would mean UK businesses would have to charge and collect VAT when selling to EU customers, as well as engage a fiscal representative (intermediary) in the EU to report and remit this VAT on their behalf. This would create a significant administrative burden for effected companies and would have a financial impact too.

These concerns are raised even though the UK has no VAT registration threshold for non-resident businesses, and expects all non-resident suppliers importing and selling low value goods to consumers in the country to VAT register.

The above information was kindly provided by Fiscal Solutions (UK),; contact: [email protected].