The Covid 19 pandemic and continent-wide restrictions on movement and business are having serious ramifications for business across the EU.

The European Commission has recommended that member states provide support to affected businesses in meeting their VAT liabilities during this period, but as is often the case, the response from the Tax Authorities has been mixed. Some nations have yet to implement any measures, and others are changing their procedures, deadlines and relief packages regularly.

This rapidly changing VAT picture, coupled with the range of challenges faced by companies in keeping going during almost continent-wide quarantine, is complex to say the least.

To offer some clarity and as part of our pledge to offer timely, reliable insight into European tax authorities’ responses to this unfolding crisis, our VAT experts Andy Spencer and Alex Smith held a webinar on Thursday April 2nd. The webinar looked at an overview of VAT measures around the EU, considering the significant differences between nations and the conditions and prerequisites of assistance that businesses must be aware of.

We also offered key advice and practical tips on how to manage cross border VAT obligations in the current panorama. A primary question for many businesses is how the big changes already looming on the VAT horizon – such as OSS and Brexit – will be affected by Covid 19. Whilst little is known for sure at this juncture, the webinar to examined the potential impact and what businesses should bear in mind.

Every company will be facing unique challenges, but there are a series of actions that all should consider. These include:

  • Determine VAT obligations, and prioritise based on deadlines.
  • Review position in each country: consider what is available and what the conditions are.
  • Make an action plan – determine specific actions required for each country.
  • Conduct ongoing review – the position in each country is subject to change so must be kept under ongoing review.
  • Meet revised deadlines – ensure that any revised deadlines are built into systems and are not missed. Consider applying for further extensions if required and available.

It’s important to stay up to date as crucial information which could be of use to your business could be issued at any time. We’re collating and analysing all of the changes on our EU Tax Authority Tracker Service, and we’ve included an RSS feed to keep you up to date. If your business has specific questions or you would like tailored advice, our VAT consultants are available for telephone consultations, with the first conversation free of charge.

The full webinar is available to view here.

By |April 3rd, 2020|