The European Commission has released a table with all VAT reforms announced, legislated and implemented during 2018 that were not published in the last year’s report (1). Below you will find a summary of all the VAT related reforms for each EU Member State.

Belgium
Description of measure Change Date
Optional tax liability for real property lease. Base increase Announcement: 27-03-2018
Legislation: 31-07-2018
In force from: 01-10-2018
Increase of the excise duty on sugar
sweetened and artificially sweetened beverages.
Base increase Announcement: 28-07-2017
Legislation: 25-12-2017
In force from: 01-01-2018
Increase of specific excise duty on tobacco products. Base increase Announcement: 28-07-2017
Legislation: 25-12-2017
In force from: 01-01-2018
Estonia
Description of measure Change Date
Basic allowance reform: second round effects Base increase

 

Legislation: 24-12-2016
In force from: 01-01-2018

Greece
Description of measure Change Date
A 6 months extension was granted, until 30.6.2019, for the reduced tax rates for the islands of Leros, Lesbos, Kos, Samos and Chios Rate decrease

 Legislation: 3-12-2018

Effective 1 January 2017: reduced tax VAT rate of 13% to farm supplies and to services from retirement houses Rate decrease

Legislation: 19-05-2017
In force from: 01-07-2017 – 01-01-2018 (for the services of the retirement

A 6 months extension was granted, until 30.6.2018, for the reduced tax rates for the islands of Leros, Lesbos, Kos, Samos and Chios N/A

Legislation: 22-12-2017
In force from: 01-01-2018

Reduced tax VAT rate of 6 % to concert tickets Rate decrease

Legislation: 24-12-2018
In force from: 2019-01-01

Reduced tax VAT rate of 6 % to white/electronic sticks and Braille note taker/typewriters intended to be used from people with visual impairment RaRate decreasete decrease

 

Legislation: 18-12-2018
In force from: 2018-12-18

Spain
Description of measure Change Date
VAT rate for cinema tickets reduced from 21 % to 10 % Rate decrease Announcement: 03-04-2018
Legislation: 04-07-2018
In force from: 05-07-2018
VAT rate on cultural services provided by individuals reduced from 21 % to 10 % Rate decrease Announcement: 28-12-2018
Legislation: 29-12-2018
In force from: 01-01-2019
Italy
Description of measure Change Date
The measure foresees that legally autonomous entities may constitute a group as single VAT taxpayer. Those involved must have economic and organizational relationships and mainly a common control by direct or indirect participation. This implies that transactions within the VAT group are excluded from the scope of VAT. Base decrease

 

Legislation: 11-12-2016
In force from: 01-01-2018

As from 1 January 2019, a standardized system of mandatory electronic invoicing is introduced. The measure is applied partially as from July 2018. Neutral

 

Legislation: 27-12-2017
In force from: 01-01-2018

Cyprus
Description of measure Change Date
According to article 2 of the Procedure of Settlement of Overdue Taxes amending Law 65(I)/2018, 03.01.2019 was defined as the last date of submitting application for instalment plan, for existing tax debt. Neutral

 

Announcement: 2010-06-29
Legislation: 2018-06-29
In force from: 2018-06-29

Per article 3b of amending Law 157(I)/2017 published on 13.11.2017, as from 02.01.2018, VAT is imposed on land sold by a business that can be developed. The amendment was made to be in line with EU acquis. Rate increase; base increase

 

Announcement: 13-11-2017
Legislation: 13-11-2017
In force from: 2018-01-02

According to article 2 of the Assessment and Collection of Taxes amending Law 50(I)/2018, Tax Tribunal may publish its decisions, preserving individual’s anonymity, if requested. Neutral

Announcement: 2018-06-08
Legislation: 2018-06-08
In force from: 2000-01-02

Per article 2 of the VAT amending Law 60(I)/2018, 9% VAT is imposed on provision of services and supply of goods by retirement homes, provided those transactions are not exempted. Rate decrease

Announcement: 2018-06-27
Legislation: 2018-06-27
In force from: 2018-06-27

According to article 3 of the VAT amending Law 121(I)/2018, VAT is imposed on transfer of the right to dispose immovable property (long term lease). Rate increase

Announcement: 2018-07-30
Legislation: 2018-07-30
In force from: 2019-01-01

According to article 2 of the VAT amending Law 121(I)/2018, the lease that transfers the right to the lessee to dispose immovable property is defined as supply of good and not provision of services. Neutral

Announcement: 2018-07-30
Legislation: 2018-07-30
In force from: 2019-01-01

According to article 3 of the Procedure of Settlement of Overdue Taxes amending Law 65(I)/2018, 31.12.2018 was defined as the last date of submitting tax returns concerning periods for which settlement is allowed and set as prerequisite in order to proceed to a new instalment plan in the future. Neutral

Announcement: 2010-06-29
Legislation: 2018-06-29
In force from: 2018-06-29

Latvia
Description of measure Change Date
Introduction of the reduced VAT rate of 5 % to vegetables, fruits and berries that are specific to Latvia Rate decrease

 

Announcement: 06-12-2017
Legislation: 22-11-2017
In force from: 01-01-2018-

The expansion of the reverse VAT charge mechanism to supplies of building materials and household appliances and introduction of the reverse VAT charge mechanism to supplies of metal products. Neutral

 Announcement: 08-08-2017-
Legislation: 27-07-2018
In force from: 01-01-2018

Reduction of the threshold for disclosing individual invoices from EUR 1 430 to EUR 150 Base increase Announcement: 08-08-2017-
Legislation: 27-07-2018
In force from: 01-01-2018
Reduction of VAT registration threshold from EUR 50 000 to EUR 40 000 Base increase Announcement: 08-08-2017-
Legislation: 27-07-2018
In force from: 01-01-2018
Lithuania
Description of measure Change Date
Reduced VAT rate for newspapers, magazines and other periodicals further reduced to 5 % (was 9 % previously). Rate decrease

 Legislation: 11-12-2018
In force from: 01-01-2019

Reduced 9 % VAT rate introduced for firewood and wood products for burning for residential purposes. Rate decrease

 Legislation: 11-12-2018

In force from: 01-01-2019

Introduction of a 5 % reduced rate for non-compensated prescription medicines Rate decrease

 

Legislation: 12-12-2017
In force from: 01-01-2018

Luxembourg
Description of measure Change Date
VAT grouping: legally independent persons established in Luxemburg who are closely bound to one another by financial, economic and organisational links may request to be regarded as a single taxable person Neutral

 

Legislation: 06-08-2018
In force from: 31-07-2018

Hungary
Description of measure Change Date
VAT rate on fish decreased from 27 % to 5 % Rate decrease Announcement: 13-06-2017
Legislation: 19-06-2017
In force from: 01-01-2018
VAT rate on edible offal of swine decreased from 27 % to 5 % Rate decrease Announcement: 13-06-2017
Legislation: 19-06-2017
In force from: 01-01-2018
VAT rate on restaurant meals decreased from 18 % to 5 % Rate decrease; base decrease Announcement: 07-06-2016
Legislation: 15-06-2016
In force from: 01-01-2018
VAT rate on Braille-displays and printers decreased from 27 % to 5 % Rate decrease Announcement: 31-10-2017
Legislation: 10-11-2017
In force from: 01-01-2018
The individual exemption for VAT was increased from HUF 8 million to HUF 12 million per year. Base decrease Announcement: 13-11-2018
Legislation: 23-11-2018
In force from: 01-01-2019
VAT rate on ESL and UHT milk decreased from 18 % to 5 % Rate decrease Announcement: 20-07-2018
Legislation: 25-07-2018
In force from: 01-01-2019
VAT rate on internet access decreased from 18 % to 5 % Rate decrease Announcement: 13-06-2017
Legislation: 19-06-2017
In force from: 01-01-2018
Malta
Description of measure Change Date
VAT Reduction for SMEs. Increase in the threshold below which SMEs will be allowed not to charge VAT . Rate decrease; base decrease Announcement: 09-10-2017
In force from: 01-01-2018
Netherlands
Description of measure Change Date
Increase of the reduced VAT-rate of 6 % by 3 pp to 9 % Rate increase Announcement: 10-10-2017
Legislation: 18-12-2018
In force from: 01-01-2019
Increase of an exemption on VAT for sports organisations and sports clubs. Implementation of the Bridport and West Dorset Golf Club Limited arrest. Although the base is decreased the measure leads to an increase of tax revenues. Base decrease Announcement: 19-12-2013
Legislation: 18-12-2018
In force from: 01-01-2019
The special treatment of agricultural entrepreneurs in the VAT will be abolished. Base increase Announcement: 19-09-2017
Legislation: 19-12-2017
In force from: 01-01-2018
Austria
Description of measure Change Date
Accommodation in hotels and comparable places is taxed at the reduced rate of 10 % instead of 13 %. Rate decrease

 Legislation: 14-08-2018
In force from: 01-11-2018

Poland
Description of measure Change Date
Extension of the scope of taxable persons obliged to submit a unified format (the Single Audit File for VAT – JPK) to the tax authority by electronic means on a monthly basis. JPK is a set of information on purchases /sales for the period in question facilitating audit checks.
Large firms have had to provide JPK since July 2016 and SMEs since January 2017. As of 2018 nearly all taxable persons (including micro enterprises), except those benefiting from exemption for the so called small enterprises or carrying out only transactions exempt from VAT, have to submit JPK.
Neutral Announcement: 14-06-2016
Legislation: 2016-05-13
In force from: 01-07-2016
01-01-2017
01-01-2018
Maintain the current level of VAT rates. New tax Announcement: 21-12-2018
Legislation: 22-11-2018
In force from: 01-01-2019
Increasing the VAT rate on specific products (i.e.. certain hygienic or pharmaceutical articles) from 8 % to 23 %. Rate increase Announcement: 11-01-2018
Legislation: 14-12-2017
In force from: 19-01-2018

The head of the National Fiscal Administration (hereinafter “Head of KAS”) will receive daily information on the accounts and transactions of qualified entities within the meaning of STIR (i.e. other than personal accounts for private purposes). All information will be sent automatically and electronically via the clearing house.

The analysis of the tax fraud risk on the basis of the information provided via the STIR system will be carried out in two ways. The clearing house will analyse the tax fraud risk using algorithms based on banking practice and experience in counteracting money laundering. The result of the analysis of the clearing house will be sent to the Head of the State Treasury in the form of a risk indicator. Based on the bank information provided, as well as risk ratio and other data (i.e. tax data, data provided from the National Court Register and the Central Register and Information on Business) supported by the usage of its algorithms and analytical procedures, the Head of KAS will analyse the risk of tax fraud.

Such an immediate analysis will enable a quick response of KAS authorities. The blockade of the account of the qualified entity provided for by the STIR act will prevent transfer of funds from fraudulent activities. The account will be blocked for 72 hours with the option to extend the blockage by 3 months, after meeting strictly defined conditions. The above does not apply to bank accounts of natural persons serving their private settlements.

Neutral

 

Legislation: 29-12-2017
In force from: 13-01-2018 –
30-04-2018
(in respect to bank account blockages)

A draft amendment to the Polish Vat Act introducing the new system for registration of retail sales is currently legislated by the parliament.
It has been envisaged that the new category of cash registers (to be introduced gradually) will automatically and in real time upload information regarding each registered transaction, including the amount of turnover and output VAT, VAT rate, description of goods /services and time of the supply to the central digital IT database (Central Register Repository) maintained by the Head of National Revenue Administration.

Neutral

Announcement: 2018

The so called optional Split Payment Mechanism (SPM) that will be applicable to domestic B2B transactions.
Every taxable person will have an automatically created “VAT account” maintained in a bank where he or she has a bank account.
A taxable person acquiring the goods or services will be able to voluntary apply the SPM. Under the SPM payment for the invoiced amount will be split into two separate accounts, namely:
(1) the net amount for the good /service to a (standard) bank account;
(2) the VAT amount to a “VAT account”.
The VAT account and funds deposited thereon will belong to the taxable person who is entitled to use the funds to the extent provided for in the SPM provisions (i.e.. for the purpose of payment of the VAT amount on the acquisition of goods /services to the supplier’s VAT account or payment of VAT liability to the tax office account).

Neutral

Announcement: 20-12-2017
Legislation: 15-12-2017
In force from: 01-07-2018

Portugal
Description of measure Change Date
Reduced rate of 6 % for electricity in lower potence contracts (3.45 kVA) and for natural gas in lower pressure contracts (10 000 m3) Rate decrease Legislation: 31-12-2018
In force from: 01-01-2019
Romania
Description of measure Change Date
The VAT split-payment mechanism is optional from 1 October 2017, and mandatory from 1 January 2018. N/A

Legislation: 27-12-2017
In force from: 01-01-2018

VAT rate reduction for accommodation, restaurants, catering, gyms from 9 % to 5 %. Rate decrease

 Legislation: 04-10-2018
In force from: 01-10-2018

Slovenia
Description of measure Change Date
Amendments to the VAT Act simplified VAT payment rules and the issue of invoices for telecommunication, broadcasting and electronic services provided to consumers in other Member States, pursuant to EU Directive. Additional amendments in line with EU Directive applying to the VAT treatment of vouchers were implemented. Neutral

Legislation: 18-11-2018
In force from: 01-09-2019

Slovakia
Description of measure Change Date
Decrease of VAT rate on accommodation services from 20 % to 10 % Rate decrease

 Legislation: 10-23-2018
In force from: 01-01-2019

Finland
Description of measure Change Date
Transfer the collection of import VAT from Customs to the Tax Administration. Neutral Announcement: 04-09-2015
Legislation: 11-08-2017
In force from: 01-01-2018
Sweden
Description of measure Change Date
Decreased VAT on the display of natural areas (from 25 % to 6 %) Rate decrease Announcement: 20-09-2017
In force from: 01-01-2018
United Kingdom
Description of measure Change Date
VAT registration threshold: maintain at GBP 85,000 for two years N/A Announcement: 22-11-2017
Legislation: 01-12-2017
In force from: 01-04-2018
VAT reverse charge: building and construction services Base increase Announcement: 29-10-2018
Legislation: 07-11-2018
In force from: 2019-10-01
Offshore: prevent profit fragmentation, extend VAT grouping rules and prevent looping avoidance schemes Base increase Announcement: 29-10-2018
Legislation: 07-11-2018
In force from: 01-04-2019 for CT and 06-04-2019 for Income Tax and Class 4 NICs
VAT: ensuring proper adjustments Base increase Announcement: 29-10-2018
In force from: 2019-09-01
VAT Registration Threshold: maintain at GBP 85,000 for a further two years Base increase Announcement: 29-10-2018
In force from: 01-04-2020

 

Iceland
Description of measure Change Date
VAT exemption for EV and PHEV, which has been renewed yearly since 2012, was extended to end-2020. The max. exempted amount is 1.440 thous. ISK for EV and 960 thous. ISK for PHEV. Base decrease Announcement: 14-12-2017
Legislation: 30-12-2017
In force from: 01-01-2018

 

Norway
Description of measure Change Date
Increase the low rate of value added tax from 10 % to 12 % Rate increase Announcement: 12-10-2017
Legislation: 20-12-2017
In force from: 01-01-2018