VAT Rates in Europe

The European Commission's latest bi-annual listing of Member States' VAT rates http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/resources/documents/taxation/vat/how_vat_works/rates/vat_rates_en.pdf has just been published. The rates shown are those applicable as at 1 July 2012.

The tables are based on the framework for VAT set out originally in the 6th Directive and now in the updated 2006/112/EC version, including 2008/8/EC. Member States were required to apply a standard percentage rate of VAT applicable to goods and services.

Subsequently, there are detailed tables showing the reduced and super-reduced VAT rates in the different countries. Member States are allowed under the Directive to apply reduced rates. Certain goods and services listed in 2006/112/EC can have reduced rates applied where the minimum should be no lower than 5%. Super-reduced rates less than 5% are allowed, by way of exemptions where agreed during the original access negotiations under specified transition periods.

Whilst the tables do not supply all the answers on specific rates applicable in each country, they provide an extremely useful pan-EU overview.

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