European Commission Recommends Standardised EU VAT Return

The European Commission has put forward a recommendation for a new standard VAT return for businesses when filing their , regardless of the Member State in which they do it. According to the Commission, the standard VAT return, which will replace national VAT returns, will ensure that businesses are asked for the same basic information, within the same deadlines, across the EU.

The declaration will have only 5 compulsory boxes for payers to fill in. Member States are given leeway to request a number of additional standardised elements, up to a maximum of 26 information boxes. According to the Commission, this is a vast improvement on the current situation, whereby some Member States require up to 100 information boxes to be completed. This therefore makes the Irish Form VAT3 appear to be rather straightforward compared to some of its Member State counterparts.

Businesses will file the standard VAT return on a monthly basis, while micro-enterprises will only be obliged to do it on a quarterly basis. The obligation to submit a recapitulative yearly VAT return, which some Member States currently demand, would be abolished. The proposal also encourages electronic filing, as the standard VAT return will be allowed to be submitted electronically throughout the Union.

The Commission has prepared an implementation plan which is available here . Further information is also available in the Commission press release.


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