The European Commission has stressed the need to simplify the various rates of VAT which are in force throughout the EU – in particular, the several different reduced rates which countries operate.
Currently, there is a wide range of VAT rates across Europe, ranging from the minimum level allowed – 15 per cent – in Luxembourg and Cyprus, to 25 per cent in Sweden and Denmark.
But these are the standard rates. Different countries also have varying lower rates of VAT, which are due to be reviewed by the EU on different dates.
The commissioner for tax and customs union, Laszlo Kovacs, wants to introduce more uniformity.