Standard VAT Return for Businesses (Directive)

In principle, every tax-liable business must submit a VAT return. The Commission wants to introduce an EU-wide mandatory standard VAT return. This consists of a standard form, harmonised tax periods and deadlines for the submission of VAT returns as well as harmonised rules on making corrections to the VAT return.


An EU-wide standard form and the harmonisation of tax periods and submission deadlines strengthen the single market and help to reduce bureaucracy costs for businesses. The standard form may, however, mean that individual Member States no longer receive all the information considered necessary for uncovering tax fraud. Stipulating a tax period for smaller businesses of at least three months and a submission deadline for the standard return of at least one month is disproportionate.