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EU VAT system amendments to come into force on January 1st 2020

The four short-term ‘quick fixes’ are related to the trade between the member states.

“This package of proposals is aimed at fixing some of the practical problems we are experiencing with the current VAT rules”, said Hartwig Löger, Minister for Finance in Austria and also currently holds the Council presidency. “At the same time, it is of high practical relevance for our businesses who will benefit from the harmonised rules.”

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These adjustments will come into effect on 01/01/2020 and are summarized below:

  • Call-off stock. The proposals provide for a simplified and uniform treatment for call-off stock arrangements, where a vendor transfers stock to a warehouse at the disposal of a known acquirer in another member state;
  • The VAT identification number. To benefit from a VAT exemption for the intra-EU supply of goods, the identification number of the customer will become an additional condition;
  • Chain transactions. To enhance legal certainty in determining the VAT treatment of chain transactions, the proposals establish uniform criteria;
  • Proof of intra-EU supply. A common framework is proposed for the documentary evidence required to claim a VAT exemption for intra-EU supplies.


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