European Commission Proposes to Extend VAT E-Commerce Package Deadline by Six Months

  • 26 May 2020

The European Commission (EC) has proposed to postpone the effective date of the new VAT e-commerce package. Rather than taking effect Jan. 1, 2021, the new rules will take effect six months later, on July 1, 2021. The proposal, according to an EC statement, was made due to the COVID-19-related challenges confronting Member States and businesses.

Although the EC indicated on Feb. 14 that most Member States confirmed they would be ready to apply the new VAT e-commerce package rules by January 2021, the impact of the global pandemic has altered those expectations in numerous ways:

  • Member States shifted priorities and reallocated resources from the implementation of the VAT e-commerce package to fighting the pandemic.
  • As a result, Member States could no longer guarantee their ability to finalize the preparatory work required to adhere to the new rules by Jan. 1, 2021. This work includes the mandated transposition of the EU Directives into national law, as well as the implementation of IT systems within the tax bodies of Member States. Both efforts are at serious risk of delay.
  • Postal and courier operators also stressed that it would be highly unlikely to have their IT systems ready and operational to meet VAT e-commerce package requirements by Jan. 1, 2021.

EU E-Commerce VAT Rules Delayed, but Global Businesses Still Need to Prepare

VAT Director Peter Boerhof explains the situation in a CPA Practice Advisor news article.


Unanimous agreement among EU Member States is required in order for the EC’s proposal to be adopted and enter into force., Member States will then move to adopt and publish their local legislative measures by June 30, 2021 (rather than by Dec. 31, 2020 as was required prior to the EC’s postponement proposal). We’ll keep you updated as the situation unfolds.

Please remember that the Tax Matters provides information for educational purposes, not specific tax or legal advice. Always consult a qualified tax or legal advisor before taking any action based on this information. The views and opinions expressed in Tax Matters are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy, position, or opinion of Vertex Inc.

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