Ricardo Álvarez, from the Spanish Finance Ministry, on e-commerce: “VAT between Member States should be based on taxation at destination”

31/05/19
Share this information

The deputy director general of Consumption Taxes from the Directorate General of Taxes participated in a conference on current tax issues organised by the Faculty of Law

Ricardo Álvarez, from the Spanish Finance Ministry, on e-commerce: “VAT between Member States should be based on taxation at destination”

According to Ricardo Álvarez, deputy director general of Consumption Taxes at the Spanish Finance Ministry’s Directorate General of Taxes, in the context of the digital economy, “VAT taxation of cross-border transactions between EU Member States should be based on taxation at destination, both for B2B transactions and transactions with end consumers.” 

Álvarez gave the talk “IVA, globalización y economía digital” (VAT, globalisation and the digital economy) at the conference “Actualidad en materia de IVA” (Current VAT Issues) organised by the Faculty of Law. In it, he highlighted the changes in consumer behaviour due to the rise of online purchases of goods and services. He also pointed to new players in the market, such as digital platforms and marketplaces, application markets, digital markets and the sharing economy. 

According to the deputy director general for Consumption Taxes, the European Commission’s action plan for the future of VAT includes taking “urgent measures to reduce VAT fraud at the Community level”, as well as bolstering administrative cooperation. 

The plan also aims to reduce tax fraud at the Community level through a definitive system for intra-Community transactions, as well as by reviewing and updating VAT rates. 

The session also featured Marta Lara, chief tax officer at Grupo Planeta, Sergio Alonso, head of indirect taxes at CaixaBank, and Meritxell Yus, partner and coordinator of the Indirect Taxation practice at Cuatrecasas, who participated in a panel discussion on the effects of this tax on their respective departments.