On 27 June 2016, the Council adopted a Directive amending the Principal VAT Directive to harmonise national VAT rules in relation to transactions involving vouchers.

Vouchers are used increasingly and come in many forms. They include, for example, pre-paid telecom cards, gift cards and price discount coupons for the purchase of goods or services.

There has been considerable disparity across the EU in relation to the VAT treatment of vouchers which has led to the risk of double taxation or non-taxation, in particular, in circumstances where a voucher is issued in one member state and used in another.

Member states will have until 31 December 2018 to transpose the directive into national laws and regulations. Provisions will only apply to vouchers issued after that date.

The press release can be found here.