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Taxation and Customs Union

Review of existing legislation on VAT reduced rates

Consultation on Review of existing legislation on VAT reduced rates
Policy fields


Target groups
The Commission invites all interested parties to submit their contributions in response to the questions raised in the consultation document 'Review of existing legislation on VAT reduced rates'.
Period of consultation
From 08/10/2012 to 04/01/2013
Objective of the consultation

The Commission in December 2011 adopted a Communication on the future of VAT that sets out the fundamental characteristics that must underlie the new VAT regime, and priority actions needed to create a simpler, more efficient and more robust VAT system in the EU.

One of the priority actions is a review of the current VAT rates structure, based on the following guiding principles:

  1. Abolition of those reduced rates which constitute an obstacle to the proper functioning of the internal market. Reduced rates justified in the past can have distorting effects today because the economic, business and legal environments have changed in the meantime;
  2. Abolition of reduced rates on goods and services whose consumption is discouraged by other EU policies. This could notably be the case for goods and services harmful to the environment, health and welfare;
  3. Similar goods and services should be subject to the same VAT rate and progress in technology should be taken into account in this respect, so that the challenge of convergence between the on-line and the physical environment is addressed.

The Commission services have made a first evaluation of the current VAT rates structure and the goods and services mentioned hereafter are the ones which require to be examined further in the light of the above three guiding principles.

With this public consultation, the Commission services are now seeking the opinion of stakeholders.

How to submit your contribution

We welcome contributions from all parties interested.

If you are answering this consultation as an individual or an organisation not registered in the Interest Representative Register, please see the section at the bottom of the page or click on TAXUD-C1-RATES-NON-REGISTEREDatec [dot] europa [dot] eu (TAXUD-C1-RATES-NON-REGISTERED[at]ec[dot]europa[dot]eu) to submit your contribution.

If you are answering this consultation in respect of an organisation registered in the Interest Representative Register – please click on TAXUD-C1-RATES-REGISTEREDatec [dot] europa [dot] eu (TAXUD-C1-RATES-REGISTERED[at]ec[dot]europa[dot]eu) to submit your contribution.

Received contributions will be published on the Internet and responses from organisations not registered in the Interest Representative Register will be published separately. It is important to read the specific privacy statement attached to this consultation for information on how your personal data and contribution will be dealt with.

View the consultation document and questionnaire
Consultation paper
Contact details
responsible service

Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs Union,
VAT and other turnover taxes – Unit TAXUD/C1

postal address

European Commission
Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs Union
VAT and other turnover taxes – Unit TAXUD/C1
Rue Joseph II 79, Office J79 05/093
B-1049 Brussels

Number of responses received to this consultation
View the contributions
Results of consultation and next steps
Protection of personal data Specific privacy statement

"How to submit your contribution" in respect of organisations

In the interests of transparency, organisations (including, for example, NGOs, trade associations and commercial enterprises) are invited to provide the public with relevant information about themselves by registering in the Interest Representative Register and subscribing to its Code of Conduct

If you are a Registered organisation, please indicate the name and address of your organisation and your Register ID number on the first page of your contribution. Your contribution will then be considered as representing the views of your organisation.
TAXUD-C1-RATES-REGISTEREDatec [dot] europa [dot] eu (Submit your contribution).

If your organisation is not registered, you have the opportunity to Register now.
Then return to this page to submit your contribution as a Registered organisation.

Responses from organisations not registered will be published separately.
Non-registered organisations, please submit your contributions TAXUD-C1-RATES-NON-REGISTEREDatec [dot] europa [dot] eu (here).

The Commission asks organisations who wish to submit comments in the context of public consultations to provide the Commission and the public at large with information about whom and what they represent. If an organisation decides not to provide this information, it is the Commission's stated policy to list the contribution as part of the individual contributions. (Consultation Standards, see COM (2002) 704, and Communication on ETI Follow-up, see COM (2007) 127 of 21/03/2007)