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OECD works towards harmonised VAT rules


OECD works towards harmonised VAT rules

The Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD0, the rich country think-tank, has updated the key issues it is examining to help build a coherent and efficient global VAT regime.  This involves of 80 countries of the 150+ which have introduced a Value Added Tax consumption tax.

Some of the issues that are under review include:

VAT on International Trade

How to apply VAT to international trade, and ensuring that tax is charged at the point of consumption or destination.  In many countries, including the EU VAT, consumption of goods is still on the country of origin basis.  The supply of services in the EU moved to the point of destination basis in 2010.

VAT neutrality

How to ensure VAT remains a neutral tax from the prospective of the companies which administer it.  This includes managing non-taxable and mixed services which can give rise to VAT leakage.  Key to achieving this goal will be the harmonisation of international regimes and improved VAT recovery mechanisms.

Widening the VAT tax base

The drive to widen the tax base of VAT onto more goods and services, potentially including sensitive areas such as food and household energy.  This includes the use reduced VAT rates which can distort the marketplace.

Improving VAT compliance

Simplifying VAT compliance and VAT returns across national borders to help reduce the administrative burden for companies.  This includes balancing the increasing demands for information from individual countries to help prevent VAT fraud.

Work on the above stream are expected to be completed by early 2014


VP Global Indirect Tax
Richard Asquith
VP Global Indirect Tax Richard Asquith
Richard Asquith is VP Global Indirect Tax at Avalara, helping businesses understand their compliance obligations as they grow globally. He is part of the European leadership team which this year won International Tax Review's Tax Technology Firm of the Year. Richard qualified as an accountant with KPMG in the UK, and went on to work in Hungary, Russia and France with EY.