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VAT eLearning course

(Course on the VAT Directive)

VATInformation clip
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An eLearning course has been developed by the European Commission under the Fiscalis 2013 Programme to help tax officials in EU countries and others with a particular interest in value added tax (VAT) get a good basic knowledge of EU Directive 2006/112/EC, known as 'the VAT Directive'. The training has been prepared by the Commission's Taxation and Customs Union Directorate General in close collaboration with expert taxation officials and is freely available for download.

The course is available in the following languages: EN, BG, NL, EL, HU, LV, PL, SL, ES, SV, MK, IT.


What is the VAT Directive?

EU Directive 2006/112/EC has been the essential piece of EU VAT legislation since 1 January 2007. That 'VAT Directive' is effectively a recast of the 1977 VAT Directive as amended over the years. It provides an overview of EU VAT legislation currently in force and forms the basis for national VAT legislation.

More information on how VAT works in practice is available from the relevant web section.


New developments in VAT legislation

The latest update of the VAT eLearning course (version 2.1) takes into account important pieces of legislation adopted after the publication of the original course:

The content of the file is as follows:

  • The VAT course
  • Quick Start Guide document

About the electronic training course

This course aims at presenting the fundamental elements of the VAT Directive. It has an EU-wide perspective and does not explain national variations or derogations. By the end of the course the learner should have a good understanding of the basic principles of the EC VAT directive.


The course contains six hours of training and consists of fourteen units as follows:

  1. Introduction
  2. Context
  3. Legal framework
  4. Scope
  5. Territory
  6. Taxable persons
  7. Transactions
  8. Place of taxable transactions
  9. Chargeable event and taxable amount
  10. Rates
  11. Exemptions
  12. Right to deduct
  13. Obligations
  14. Final assessment

How to Start and Use the Course?

  • First, extract the zip-file to a folder of your choice on your computer
  • Read the 'Quick Start Guide' document
  • This document will provide you with all the necessary information
  • Install the course to your system as specified in the Quick Start Guide document or ask your system administrator to do so
  • Open the course and follow the instructions within the course