A single cross-border VAT information portal could help to improve lawyers’ understanding of the rules and procedures that apply across the European Union, the Law Society has said.

At present, VAT rules and procedures applying in different EU member states must be consulted state by state.

Responding to a European Commission consultation on the development of an EU VAT web portal, the Society said: ‘These scattered sources, however, are likely to restrict the efficacy and comprehensiveness of VAT legislation in a cross-border context.’

The Society said lawyers ‘often’ look for topics such as customer VAT status, VAT returns and payment, person liable for payment, right of deduction and adjustment rules, and contact details of national tax administrations.

‘As an adviser, it would be helpful to have a consistent level of information on the VAT systems of other key jurisdictions, ideally presented in such a way that would enable me to make easy comparisons with the position in my home jurisdiction,’ the Society said.

‘In addition, it would be useful for the portal to contain information not just on the technical legal position in relevant jurisdictions, but also to address practical issues [such as] differences in guidance between jurisdictions, differing local case law etc.’


European capital markets: Regulation and dispute resolution
The Law Society European capital markets conference will explore the changes in capital markets regulation and look at how these policies merge at a national and European level. The Hon. Mr Justice Blair will provide the keynote address, followed by sessions focusing on: Cross-border capital markets dispute resolution; Regulating investment banking; Tax and Systemic failures. Find out more.