In today's global, commercially, and technologically interconnected world, value added taxes and goods and services taxes (hereafter referred to as VAT/GST) have a global dimension. With more than 160 countries operating VAT/GST systems, an increasing number of cross-border VAT/GST disputes has been identified.
A “dispute” means a disagreement between the tax authorities and the taxable person (the business) on the interpretation and application of the law formalised in a notification or assessment from the tax administration.
The terms “value added tax” and “VAT” are used to refer to any national tax by whatever name or acronym it is known such as Goods and Services Tax (GST) that embodies the basic features of a value added tax, i.e. a broad-based tax on final consumption collected from, but in principle not borne by, businesses through a staged collection process, whatever method is used for determining the tax liability (e.g. invoice-credit method or subtraction method).
A cross-border dispute on VAT/GST with the tax authorities can occur in for example the following instances:
- disputes on the place of taxation leading to double or non-taxation in two countries;
- disputes concerning a taxable transaction in a country where the supplier and/or the customer is not established (e.g. on the VAT rate, the qualification as established or not (nexus/fixed establishment), compliance, right to deduct, who is liable to collect the VAT/GST,...);
- disputes on the refund of VAT/GST to a non-established taxable person.
Those have a negative effect on business and on the efficiency of the collection of VAT/GST revenues by the tax authorities. This can be an issue for all countries that operate a VAT/GST. However, there is no full knowledge on the dimensions of the issue yet.
The WU Global Tax Policy Center has launched a multistakeholder initiative “Cross-border VAT/GST disputes; Causes – Effects – Possible Solutions” with the aim of advancing the debate on how to minimize and resolve cross-border VAT/GST disputes.
This questionnaire's objective is to collect data from businesses, business federations, tax administrations, academia, judges and other experts. Answers to this questionnaire will help obtain better insights into this topic and to identify the root causes of cross-border tax disputes with the goal of suggesting solutions for dispute prevention and resolving cross-border VAT/GST disputes. The questionnaire consists of four parts and aims to collect data for the period 2016 to 2020 inclusive. You can provide data concerning the period prior to 2016 at your discretion.
PART I: Identification of the Respondent
PART II: Overall Quantitative Data
PART III: Qualitative and Quantitative Data on Your Most Important Disputes
PART IV: Suggestions to Prevent and Resolve Cross-border VAT/GST Disputes
What's in it for you?
With your input we will know:
- The extent of cross-border VAT/GST disputes
- What are the root causes?
- Who is impacted?
- What’s the size of the problem?
- Is there a case to propose dispute resolution mechanisms?
Only with your kind support, we will be able to demonstrate there is a need to develop a solution with all stakeholders to resolve cross-border VAT/GST disputes.
All responses will be treated strictly confidential and all replies are anonymous. With a button in the top right corner, you can resume the questionnaire later and after submitting it, there will be the option to print your answers.
We would be very grateful, if you could complete the questionnaire by June 30, 2021. We would appreciate if 1 person could reply for your institution/business/association.
In case of questions, you can contact Jeffrey Owens, Ine Lejeune or the WU Global Tax Policy Center.
We will share the anonymised data with all stakeholders. A meeting will be held where the results will be discussed including the way forward to develop potential solutions (if you'd like to be invited to this meeting, please send an email to WU Global Tax Policy Center).
Thank you very much in advance for your support!