Public consultation on the special VAT scheme for travel agents and tour operators
Factual summary report
The evaluation of the special VAT scheme for travel agents and tour operators
assesses if and to what extent the special VAT scheme is fit for purpose, meets its
objectives of having simplified rules for this sector, and ensures the VAT is collected by
the EU country where the services are consumed. Furthermore, it examines whether
the scheme is efficient in achieving the underlying needs in this field, and is still in line
with changes in the overall policy, as well as other EU policy initiatives and priorities.
The purpose of the public consultation was to collect the evidence needed to evaluate
the rules of the special scheme. To achieve this, the consultation was to gather the
views of all stakeholders on how the special scheme meets its objectives (in other
words, whether it is still effective) and to which extent existing rules are still relevant
and aligned with stakeholders’ needs. In particular, the evidence gathered through this
consultation should allow assessing the efficiency of those rules. This includes
identifying potential distortions of competition and the regulatory costs and benefits
for businesses taxed under the special scheme.
The travel industry consists of various types of operators, who supply travel services,
and is made up by a diversity of travel agents and tour operators, who operate
different business models. These businesses (including SMEs) were invited to provide
their views on the special VAT scheme. Views of consultancies, trade, business or
professional associations, VAT practitioners and travellers including business travellers
also matter. Equally, contributions from academia, researchers, non-governmental
organisation representatives and the general public were welcome.
For the public sector, public authorities of the Member States (ministries of finance, tax
authorities) already had provided their views prior to the public consultation via a
similar, but less structured survey. In addition to that, Member States also had the
possibility to answer to this specific questionnaire.
The consultation did not aim at obtaining responses statistically representative of the
European population or of the economic sector, thus the outcomes of the consultation
cannot be extrapolated as scientifically representing its views. Respondents were not
required to answer all the questions.