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CIOT calls for simplified VAT system for UK SMEs in Europe

The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) has set out six objectives for EU tax officials to help UK SMEs consider Europe as their home market.

The proposals aim to stimulate action so that more UK small and medium-sized enterprises expand their European-wide activities.

Internal Market Strategy

The move by the CIOT came in response to the European Commission’s own Internal Market Strategy report, which covered difficulties faced by SMEs and start-ups operating in the EU Single Market.

Chairman of CIOT’s Indirect Taxes Sub-Committee, Peter Dylewski, said: “We welcome the commitment in principle to make it easier for small and medium size businesses (SMEs) to operate across Europe. No system can be fool proof when it comes to worries about evasion and avoidance, but it is right that the focus should be on easing burdens to SMEs to boost innovation and create jobs."

Six challenges

The CIOT’s six challenges to the EC include ending the disparity in registration rules, simplifying reclaiming VAT back from other member states, reducing the general complexity of rules, addressing inconsistent interpretation of common definitions, the complexity in compliance regulations and dispute resolution.

“We believe there are six challenges that VAT policy makers in the EU face before success can be achieved. We hope when proposals are drawn up to meet them, national governments will rise to the challenge of working together to deliver an accessible single market for all small and medium business,” Dylewski explained.


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