The EU has responded to the developments in the digital economy in phases, inspired by social developments and depending on the urgency with which problems had to be tackled and taking into account the required unanimity for changes in VAT legislation at an EU level. As of 2021, virtually all B2C e-commerce transactions will be subject to VAT in the EU Member State where the consumer is located. With this new legislation the EU seems adequately equipped to handle the challenges of the digital economy. However, with new legislation come new challenges. Supplies of goods and services will be increasingly subject to VAT in an EU Member State different from the EU Member State where the supplier is established. This raises concerns as regards the correct application and enforcement of VAT legislation. In this inaugural lecture, Madeleine Merkx addresses both the enhancement of compliance and the improvement of enforcement of the VAT legislation for e-commerce. She also discusses the relevance of culture and alternatives for the current supplier collection model. She concludes that more research is necessary as regards: stimulating compliance, collecting and processing information on e-commerce transactions, administrative coope ration with other EU Member States and non-EU countries, cooperation with other authorities (in particular customs authorities), the effect of culture on compliance, cooperation and enforcement and alternative collection models.
You are undoubtedly aware of the story of the Wizard of Oz.
You may have read Frank Baum’s book, watched the movie, the animated television series or the musical. In case you are not familiar with the story or your knowledge of the storyline has somewhat subsided, as was the case with me when writing this inaugural lecture, I will take you briefly back to the gray Kansas, where Dorothy lives with her uncle, aunt and dog Toto. When a tornado blows Dorothy’s house away, she and her dog Toto end up in the wondrous, colourful World of Oz. She goes looking for the Wizard of Oz because she believes he can help her to get home. She has to follow the yellow brick road to the Emerald City, where he lives.
On the road Dorothy becomes friends with a scarecrow, a tin woodman and a cowardly lion. They all hope that Oz will help them with their problem. The scarecrow wants to have some brains, the tin woodman aches for a heart and the cowardly lion desperately seeks courage. So Dorothy and her companions set off to a perilous journey towards a solution to their problems and in hope to fulfil their dreams, following the yellow brick road. After fulfilling an impossible mission from Oz, Dorothy and her companions discover that he is not a wizard at all, but a normal person from Kansas. So he cannot help them either. They will have to sort it out themselves.