The European Commission has now opened a public consultation running until the 20th of March 2017 which considers two options for the reform of the VAT rate system:

  1. Keep the standard VAT rate of 15% and regularly update the list of goods and services eligible for reduced rates, on the basis of suggestions from Member States. The main aim of this option is to protect the harmonisation of the VAT system.
  2. Remove the minimum rate of 15% and abolish the list of reduced and zero rates, thus granting greater discretion for Member States in fixing their own VAT rates. 

Under both options, currently existing reduced rates and derogations would be maintained and made available to all Member States – ensuring equal treatment.  

While we encourage individual submissions to this consultation, the EFC – also within its engagement in the European Charities Committee on VAT – ECCVAT – will issue a response. At this stage, we are interested to know if you have a clear preference for either of the two options for reforming the VAT rate system or if you have any other comments regarding the above consultation questions. We will share our contribution in due course.

The full questionnaire can be accessed here

For any further input on the EU consultation, please contact Hanna Surmatz at