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

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.

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.

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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 optimization, 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, optimized VAT, and managed the transition to a centralized 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 optimization 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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