The Commission presented a Green Paper in 2010; it conducted a public consultation early 2011 and published a Communication in December. 2011. On the basis of the outcomes of the public consultation and the study the Commission will elaborate a proposal on the new structure of VAT rates. DG TAXUD is working on an Impact Assessment which will be ready in 2014. Based on that Impact Assessment it will be decided if any future work is needed.
The VAT Directive, as it currently stands, obliges MS to apply a standard rate of at least 15% and provides for the optional application of a reduced rate, set no lower than 5%, to an exhaustive list of supplies contained in Annex III to the VAT Directive. All electronically supplied services are excluded from the scope of reduced VAT rates. These services are therefore taxed at the standard rate. Electronically services supplied to final consumers within the EU by an EU established supplier are subject to VAT in the MS of establishment of the supplier.
It has major importance to ensure the consistency of VAT rates on cultural products online and offline. For the time being there is a discrimination against online services as they are subject to higher VAT rates than equivalent goods or services of traditional supports. Normally all cultural products and services should be subject to the same (reduced) tax treatment, whether they appear online or offline. The DAE pays particular attention to these issues and promotes their convergence in order to support a widespread development and utilisation of the Internet and related goods and services.