PostEurop welcomes EC approach to modernising VAT rules
PostEurop, representing European postal operators, has welcomed the approach of the European Commission’s recently published plans to modernising the VAT rules for cross-border e-commerce, avoid situations of VAT fraud and reduce the administrative burden on businesses and suppliers. In a statement to Post&Parcel, PostEurop said: “Postal operators are key players in a fast-growing e-commerce delivery market, a crucial pillar of the EU’s Digital Single Market. We connect numerous e-suppliers worldwide with every single European citizen. We ensure that all citizens can enjoy the benefits of e-commerce including those living in remote areas.
“We are committed to the Commission objectives to be achieved by the proposal. However, we are concerned about the possible spill-over effects that the measure may have in several sectors. The measure should comply with the proportionality and the basic taxation principles.”
PostEurop said that the “exact implications” of the measures proposed by the EC need “further in-depth analysis”.
“While the current proposal aims to make the VAT rules simpler, it can bring additional burden to intermediaries, and ultimately back to the consumers,” said PostEurop.
According to PostEurop, postal operators are concerned about:
- Additional costs (for operators, e-sellers, customers or fiscal authorities);
- Diminishing quality of service (including speed) in the delivery process;
- Creating artificial barriers to small e-sellers to compete in the European market.
In addition, PostEurop said that it would be “very difficult” to manage the high volumes of low-value items that would be checked, considering the proposed abolishment of the current VAT threshold.
PostEurop pointed out that a basic principle of tax policy is that “the cost of collection must be lower than the tax collected, easy to apply and enforceable”.
The statement from PostEurop concluded: “We are concerned that the proposal may put at risk the role of postal operators as a key player in the e-commerce chain: the maintenance of I) an affordable delivery offer and II) the speed of delivery which are essential to ensure the smooth functioning of the e-commerce market.
“We hope to collaborate with the Commission and the Member States to find a balanced approach that can work for all stakeholders.”