On 23 May 2013, the European Commission announced that 13 member states including the UK are entering a pilot scheme for providing VAT rulings. Taxpayers may request rulings on planned transactions that are complex and have a cross-border aspect involving two or more participating states. Taxpayers should submit ruling requests to the authority of the participating state in which they are registered for VAT purposes. Requests must follow domestic rules in that state governing VAT rulings.

Taxpayers requesting rulings must accept that the data provided may be shared between the authorities of the relevant states. Those authorities will only consult each other in relation to transactions if taxpayers explicitly request this. However, the ruling process does not guarantee that states will agree on the VAT treatment of relevant transactions and consultation between states does not guarantee that a ruling, agreed by the states concerned, will be forthcoming. Any opinions given by tax authorities under this scheme will only be given in accordance with the domestic rules applying to rulings and decisions in the states concerned.

The pilot started on 1 June 2013 and will end on 31 December 2013. On completion, it will be evaluated and taxpayers are therefore invited to comment on their experiences and provide suggestions with regard to VAT cross-border ruling requests.

Click here for more information on the pilot.