VAT news

EU proposes VAT exemption for EU armed forces

carolineheath 1 May 2019 No comments

The European Commission has adopted a proposal to exempt supplies to armed forces from VAT and excise duties.  The exemption will apply when forces are deployed outside their own Member State and take part in a European defence effort. Supplies to armed forces participating in a NATO defence effort can already benefit from such exemptions.

The proposal should therefore ensure equal treatment of defence efforts under the NATO and the EU framework when it comes to VAT and excise duties. Under the new rules, armed forces deployed outside their own Member State would not pay VAT or excise duty to other Member States when they take part in a NATO defence effort or in a defence activity under the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP).

By aligning the indirect tax treatment of both defence efforts, the initiative acknowledges the growing importance of the CSDP and military mobility which require supplies such as training materials, accommodation, provision of food and fuel – all in principle currently subject to VAT.

The full proposal is available here.