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Taxation

  1. Where can I find tax legislation which has recently been proposed by the Commission or which has recently been adopted?
  2. Where can I find information about purchasing a car in another Member State?
  3. Is there any regulation governing the value to be given to a second- hand car for registration car purposes when a car registered in a Member State is moved to another Member State?
  4. May a Member State levy a registration tax in cases of vehicles permanently transferred into their territory from another Member State following a transfer of residence?
  5. What is the EU doing in the area of taxation?
  6. Where can I find the rates of VAT and excise duty on alcohol, tobacco and energy products, applicable in the Member States?
  7. Where can I find information on the practical application of VAT in the Member States?
  8. Is the VAT registration number of my business partner valid? What is VIES?
  9. What territories of the Member States are excluded from the European Community VAT territories?
  10. What countries are included in the territory of a Member State for VAT purposes?
  11. What countries or territories are excluded from the European Community and therefore not part of its VAT territories?
  12. What should I know about vehicle taxation in the Member States of the European Union?
  13. Seeking information on company taxation in the internal market?
  14. Would you like more information on the company tax bases in different Member States?
  15. Where will I find information on the tax rules applicable to a European company?
  16. Need to find out about personal income tax involving one or several Member States (e.g. you work in country A and live in country B)?
  17. Do I have to pay duties for excise products (e.g. wine, spirits and tobacco products) purchased over the internet?
1.  Where can I find tax legislation which has recently been proposed by the Commission or which has recently been adopted?
Legislative proposals may be found here whereas legislation adopted may be found on this page.
2.  Where can I find information about purchasing a car in another Member State?
See our page on buying new motor vehicles.
3.  Is there any regulation governing the value to be given to a second- hand car for registration car purposes when a car registered in a Member State is moved to another Member State?
There is no regulation other than Art. 90 of the EC Treaty, that establishes a general principle of non discrimination against "imported" cars. Nevertheless, the European Court in several judgements has ruled that to ensure compliance with Art. 90 of the EC Treaty, the tax to be charged shall not be higher than the amount of the residual tax incorporated in the value of a similar car already registered in the territory of the Member State of "importation".
4.  May a Member State levy a registration tax in cases of vehicles permanently transferred into their territory from another Member State following a transfer of residence?
The Commission, based on Directive 83/183 of 28 March 1983 on tax exemptions applicable to permanent " imports " from a Member State of the personal property of individuals, has held that Member States should not levy the registration tax in such cases. Nevertheless the European Court of Justice has ruled recently that the above-mentioned Directive does not preclude the application of a registration tax in the above-mentioned circumstances.
5.  What is the EU doing in the area of taxation?
You can read the EU Tax Policy Strategy.
6.  Where can I find the rates of VAT and excise duty on alcohol, tobacco and energy products, applicable in the Member States?
Please see our information on VAT rates, excise duty rates on alcohol, tobacco and energy products.
7.  Where can I find information on the practical application of VAT in the Member States?
Please read our guides to VAT in the European Union.
8.  Is the VAT registration number of my business partner valid? What is VIES?
Understand VIES and check the validity of your business partner's VAT registration number.
9.  What territories of the Member States are excluded from the European Community VAT territories?

MemberState

Excluded territories

Cyprus

Areas of Cyprus not under the effective control of the Government of the Republic of Cyprus

Germany

The Island of Heligoland

The territory of Büesingen

Greece

Mount Athos

Spain

The Canary Islands

Ceuta

Melilla

France

The Overseas Departments (DOM)

Italy

Livigno

Campione d'Italia

The Italian waters of Lake Lugano

Finland

Åland Islands

United Kingdom

The Channel Islands

Gibraltar

10.  What countries are included in the territory of a Member State for VAT purposes?

Country

Included in MemberState

Principality of Monaco

France

The Isle of Man

United Kingdom

11.  What countries or territories are excluded from the European Community and therefore not part of its VAT territories?
Andorra, the Faroe Islands, Greenland, the French Overseas territories, the Netherlands Antilles, San Marino and Vatican City.
12.  What should I know about vehicle taxation in the Member States of the European Union?
The information may be found on our Passenger Car Taxation page.
13.  Seeking information on company taxation in the internal market?
Please visit the company tax section of this website.
14.  Would you like more information on the company tax bases in different Member States?
Consult our Company Taxation in the Internal Market study and Communication COM(2001) 582.
15.  Where will I find information on the tax rules applicable to a European company?
Please consult our page on the Common Tax Base.
16.  Need to find out about personal income tax involving one or several Member States (e.g. you work in country A and live in country B)?
Please contact the competent national authorities. See also this page.
17.  Do I have to pay duties for excise products (e.g. wine, spirits and tobacco products) purchased over the internet?

Three situations should be distinguished:

A) The excise products are sold from an internet site in the same EU Member State where the purchaser is established and the prices include all excise duties and taxes of that Member State:

As all excise duties and taxes are included this is allowed from a tax point of view; of course also all other legal requirements should be complied with such as those relating to fiscal markings and health warnings.

B) The products are sold from an internet site situated in another EU Member State than the one in which the purchaser is established and sent to the purchaser in a postal consignment:

Excise products sold via the Internet and supplied from one Member State to a customer in another Member State are subject to excise duties in the Member State where the purchaser receives his goods. So, before the excise product can be legally delivered to the purchaser, the excise duties and taxes will have to be paid. Note that in the case of distance selling, the obligation to pay excise duties in the Member State of the purchaser rests upon the vendor. Moreover, in particular in respect of manufactured tobacco products, the distance selling of such goods is also limited by the requirements, in certain Member States, to use fiscal markings or other marks of the Member State where the excise is due to show that excise has been paid, and/or by requirements to provide health warnings in the languages of the Member States where the products are placed on the market.

Note that VAT is also due in the Member State of destination in the case of distance selling of excise products.

C) The products are sold from an internet site situated outside the European Union and sent to the purchaser in a postal consignment:

Excise products imported from non EU countries into the EU are subject to VAT and excise duty at the time of importation at the rates applicable in the Member State of destination. Note that customs duties have to be paid at import as well. There exist exemptions from these duties and taxes for imports of negligible value, but tobacco products are always excluded from these exemptions.

Moreover, in particular in respect of manufactured tobacco products, the distance selling of such goods is also limited by the requirements, in certain Member States, to use fiscal markings or other marks of the Member State where the excise is due to show that excise has been paid, and/or by requirements to provide health warnings in the languages of the Member States where the products are placed on the market.

Note that for all cases referred to above, some Member States only allow the sale of certain excise products via specified channels (i.e. State shops, specially licensed stored etc.).

For further information please visit the "Travellers" section of our website.