In this article, the author examines the phenomenon 'voucher' from a Value Added Tax (VAT) perspective. Recently, the European Commission published a proposal addressing the VAT treatment of vouchers. The proposal contains a number of relatively far-reaching changes to the current system.
The author comments on the proposal and provides an alternative approach to solving the VAT issues concerning voucher transactions. In the view of the author, not all measures in the Commission's Proposal are effective or necessary. He takes a step back from the proposal and analyses the relevant VAT issues that characterize voucher transactions: the distribution model, the question whether payment for a voucher is a prepayment, payment for a right to a supply, payment for a right as such or payment of a deposit, whether an exemption applies to voucher transactions, and whether a definition of 'voucher' is necessary. The author applies his findings to three scenario's regarding voucher transactions, demonstrating that all VAT issues can be solved by applying existing VAT rules and CJEU case law. Some specific issues need clarification, but according to the author, this can be done in a Regulation.EC Tax Review