Navigating the EU VAT’s Road to E-Compliance

In this Tax Notes International article, Vertex VAT Director Peter Boerhof examines the use of electronic invoicing and compliance measures for the EU VAT, reviewing the common e-compliance models and examining the challenges and benefits of moving to electronic systems, especially in response to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Even as recently as 2008, businesses in the EU were filing paper returns to satisfy VAT compliance requirements. At that time, only a few countries had begun to use electronic invoicing. Fast forward to 2020, and e-compliance requirements for VAT — including continuous transaction control (CTC) — seem likely to become the new normal both in and outside the EU.

While this dramatic shift was underway before the onset of COVID-19, the economic distress caused by the global pandemic is likely to accelerate the implementation of e-compliance requirements in most, if not all, EU member states. Thus, it is critical that business and tax leaders understand the various forms of e-compliance requirements, the key factors driving the adoption trend, and the challenges that can complicate compliance with these new rules. 

In this article, Peter addresses the following questions and more:

  1. What are the e-compliance models?
  2. What are the pros and cons of pre-filled reports?
  3. How is e-compliance developing?
  4. What are the key compliance challenges?

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Peter Boerhof, VAT Director at Vertex Inc. Vertex's Chief Tax Office (CTO) provides insight regarding the impact of tax regulations, policy, enforcement, and emerging technology trends on global tax department operations.

Peter Boerhof

Senior Director, VAT

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Peter Boerhof is the Senior VAT Director for Vertex. In his role, he provides insight and thought leadership regarding the impact of tax regulations, policy, enforcement, and emerging technology trends in global tax. Peter has extensive experience in international transactions, business restructuring, tax process optimisation, and tax automation. Prior to joining Vertex, Peter was responsible for leading the indirect tax function at AkzoNobel, where he designed and implemented a tax control framework, optimised VAT, and managed the transition to a centralised tax operating model for global tax processes.

He was also responsible for indirect tax planning and compliance for merger and acquisition, supply chain, and ERP projects, as well as the implementation of tax automation initiatives like tax engines and robotics. Boerhof also worked at KPN Royal Dutch Telecom managing VAT, as well as Big Four accounting firms Deloitte and Ernst & Young (EY) advising on VAT compliance and optimisation processes. Boerhof holds an MBA from the Rotterdam School of Management and a master’s in tax law from the University of Groningen.

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