The Myth of the Neutrality of VAT

The EU VAT system has been designed as a neutral system, which means, inter alia, that the VAT itself must not be a burden on taxable persons engaged in taxed transactions. In this article, the author discuses the fact that, due to the system of settling VAT liabilities and VAT claims for tax periods and on an accrual basis, the VAT itself may be a burden or advantage to taxable persons and to the tax authorities. There are no indications that, although the VAT cash accounting regime is a step in the right direction, the EU legislature is seriously considering making the VAT system truly neutral.