ViDA: Guiding Through the EU VAT Reform

The path to ViDA's implementation is full of complexities

November, 1st, 2023

In 2021, the European Union was confronted with a VAT imbalance of 69 billion euros. While this marked an improvement on previous years, it still highlights the massive challenges for governments across Europe. A large chunk of this shortfall is attributed to international VAT fraud. Other contributors to the gap are company liquidations, inefficiencies in tax administration, and legal sales tax structures within corporate organizations.

To close the VAT gap, the EU has been working on an initiative aiming at modernizing and simplifying the current VAT structure across 27 member states. While the goals of this initiative, called ViDA (VAT in the Digital Age), are admirable, the path to its implementation is full of complexities.
Let’s have a closer look at some of these complexities:

Platform Economy Challenges: The rise of the platform economy, including everything from e-commerce giants to travel or rent economy platforms, presents unique VAT challenges. These platforms often facilitate cross-border transactions, making VAT collection and compliance a complex affair. ViDA’s one-size-fits-all approach might not comply with the difficulties of each platform, potentially leading to loopholes and further VAT discrepancies..

Adapting to ViDA would mean revamping their VAT reporting systems

Uniform Adoption Hurdles: For ViDA to be effective, it requires unanimous adoption across all EU member states. This is a monumental task, given that each country has its established tax systems and VAT regulations. The need for uniformity might force countries to overhaul their existing infrastructures, incurring significant costs and administrative challenges. One other hurdle might be the timeframe. Although the introduction has been postponed from 2028 to 2030, one could argue that even with the given 2 years extension, it still might be a bit too enthusiastic.

High Implementation Costs: Beyond the member states, large corporations, especially those operating across multiple EU countries, would face substantial costs. Adapting to ViDA would mean revamping their VAT reporting systems, training personnel, and ensuring compliance across the board. For many, this could mean diverting significant resources and time, with no immediate return on investment.

In conclusion, while ViDA promises a streamlined VAT future, its road to implementation is full of challenges. For businesses engaged in international invoicing, navigating this diverse regulatory landscape can be daunting. As there is no European uniformity, you can imagine that there are hundreds of sources available to check the status of each country. A time-consuming exercise if you are delivering goods or services internationally.

To assist companies in staying updated, Electronic Invoicing Global offers a comprehensive database, providing insights into e-invoicing, e-signature, and e-archiving rules across more than 130 countries.

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