01 Jun 2019 - 01 Jul 2020

Review of the VAT rules for financial and insurance services, in light of the existing regulatory and other indirect taxation rules

Project description:

The VAT is a tax levied on all goods and services bought and sold for use or consumption within the European Union (EU). However, most financial and insurance services are exempt from VAT according to the VAT Directive, and the criteria for these exemptions is not specified in the legislation. There are some reasons that may explain it, like the difficulty in terms of identifying the appropriate VAT for some financial services, or the fact that several public services are exempted from VAT and it is thus extended to financial and banking activities carried out by them.

The economic impact of VAT exemption of financial and insurance transactions on suppliers and customers of these sectors is unclear.


The main goal of the project is to analyze the current impact of VAT exemption in financial and insurance services across the EU, as well serving as basis for the impact assessment of the VAT functioning.

- Evaluate the functioning of the current VAT rules impacting on the financial and insurance services at the level of the Member States and at the level of the EU as a whole, while putting them in context of all other relevant legislative developments in the financial and insurance sectors and taking account of the new rules on the regulation of financial and insurance markets.

- Develop options for the review of the provisions of the VAT Directive on treatment of financial and insurance services.

- Prepare an analysis of benefits and costs, opportunities and risks, as well as impacts, with the expectation that the analysis will feed into preparations for a future legislative proposal on the VAT treatment of financial and insurance services.


Project funding: European Commission DG TAXUD

Project leader: Economisti Associati srl

Project partners: CEPS -Centre for European Policy Studies-, Europe Economics,  SEURECO - Société Européenne d’Economie-, Hedeos société d'avocats, Oxford Research AB, Mazars N.V.