To follow-up the opinion on the VAT Action Plan by Dainis Turlais, adopted in October 2016
• To communicate the views of LRA to the EC, Council and EP on timplications for regional and local economies, SMEs and border regions
• where possible to influence the EP's work in this field
After meetings with the EP rapporteur on the VAT rates proposal Szany the EP took over a couple of amendments in its report, e. g.
AM 16 which makes clear that the reduced rates are not only for goods and services which benefit "only" the final consumer, but also for goods and services which also benefit the final consumers
AM 20 which also includes alcohol made of other non-distilled fermented beverages, such as vermouth, to be taxed at a reduced rate in the list which cannot be subject to a reduced rates
AM 22 which allows to subject pacemakers and hearing aids to a reducde rate.
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
- welcomes the Commission's initiative to reform the EU's existing VAT system in order to better support a functioning internal market and ensure that VAT rules are adapted to changes in the global and digital economy;
- believes that differences in VAT rules and rates have a particularly big impact on border regions and on the activities of SMEs in those regions, and that it is therefore necessary to assess the territorial impact of the proposals with a view to allowing greater flexibility in setting VAT rates as well as the thresholds proposed;
- considers that the present rules not only result in a lack of fiscal neutrality between the Member States, but prevent opportunities for technological development from being exploited since the same goods/services are taxed at different rates depending on the form of distribution.
- welcomes the European Commission's proposal to give Member States more scope to simplify VAT procedures for small companies. It is still important to improve tax efficiency and combat fraud so as to avoid distortions of competition and safeguard Member States' tax revenues;
- points out that the fragmentation and complexity of the VAT system result in major compliance costs for businesses involved in cross-border transactions. These costs are disproportionately high for SMEs, which form the backbone of the economy and the basis for employment at regional level, in particular for small businesses with a turnover of up to EUR 2 million. These companies make up about 98% of all EU enterprises, and contribute approximately 15% of total turnover and around 25% of net VAT revenue;
- shares the Commission's view that the costs of complying with the VAT system should be as low as possible, and is pleased that the proposal is expected to reduce SMEs' VAT compliance costs by up to 18% per year.