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Commission Conference on VAT in the Digital Age

  • EU
  • January 24th 2020
  • By Mark Hammond-Giles

On 6 December 2019, the European Commission’s Directorate General for Taxation and Customs (DG TAXUD) organised a conference in Brussels, Belgium, on ‘VAT in the Digital Age’. The event brought together a variety of stakeholders working in the field of VAT (EU Commission, EU Member States, business and academia) to reflect on the opportunities and challenges that new technologies bring in the area of VAT. Participants warmly welcomed the conference and its strategic aims. The need for greater coordination at EU level is clear as well as the development of common technology standards, processes and tools to safeguard the collection of VAT whilst upholding the fundamental principles of the EU VAT system – legal certainty, neutrality and proportionality. It is encouraging that the Commission has recognised the need for greater interaction between tax and technology stakeholders throughout the policymaking process, and right from the start rather than merely at the end. Increased focus on the user will also foster the better functioning of the EU Single Market and enhance future growth. Whilst the conference marks a first step, merely the beginning of the conversation, it is an important one and we look forward to actively engaging in the debate in the coming year.

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