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Electronic submission of periodic VAT returns mandatory - 12/01/2012


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Electronic submission of periodic VAT returns will become mandatory as of 1 January 2013 - Reminder

The Luxembourg VAT authorities recently informed taxpayers that the electronic submission of monthly and quarterly VAT returns will become mandatory as of 1 January 2013.

How does the e-filing system work?

The system allows VAT forms to be downloaded, completed and submitted in PDF or XML format in a company’s name directly on the website of the “Administration de l’Enregistrement et des Domaines”, the Luxembourg VAT authorities. It is already possible to use e-filing to submit periodic and annual VAT returns, the EC sales lists and VAT de-registration declarations.

Furthermore, since 2010, in accordance with Directive 2008/9/EC, applications for refunds of foreign VAT can only be made electronically.

The e-filing system requires the authentication of the person submitting the return by means of a professional certificate in “smartcard pro” (chip card) or “signing stick pro” (USB stick) format.

The widespread adoption of this online reporting system, which is encouraged by the European Union and the Member States, has numerous advantages in that it is free, quick and secure.

We suggest that you check whether these new requirements apply to your company and do everything necessary now to ensure you are ready in the course of 2012 or at the latest at the beginning of 2013.

Deloitte’s VAT team has a great deal of experience with the online VAT reporting system and associated procedures and will be happy to place its knowledge at your disposal in order to assist you in this process.

3% applicable to e-books

The VAT authorities recently announced that from 1 January 2012 the VAT rate applicable to the supply of e-books will be the super reduced rate (3%) (Circular No 756 of 12 December 2011).
This means that there is no longer a distinction made between the supplies of books in physical or digital format.

Expiry of phone credits no longer triggers tax point

On 14 December 2011, the Luxembourg VAT authorities published an amendment to its 2008 Circular relating to the VAT treatment of prepaid phone credits.

In its Circular No. 736 of 29 May 2008, the Luxembourg VAT authorities set out the VAT treatment to be applied for prepaid phone credits, stating that:

  • The sale of a prepaid phone credit does not comprise a supply for VAT purposes;
  • VAT is triggered at the moment that the credit is used;
  • Where the credit expires, and is not reactivated, the expiry triggers an event for VAT purposes. In other words, VAT is due at the moment of expiry.

The VAT authorities nonetheless stated that if the taxpayer was unable to identify the moment at which the credits are redeemed, they would have no objection if the taxpayer accounted for VAT at the moment of issue of the credit.

In its Circular No. 736bis of 14 December 2011, the Luxembourg VAT authorities state that from 1 January 2012, phone credits that expire and that are not reactivated do not trigger a tax point for VAT purposes. On the other hand, if the taxpayer accounts for VAT at the moment of the issue of the credit this modification does not impact the taxable base on which VAT is due.

For further information in that respect, please contact Joanna Denton of the Indirect tax department in Luxembourg.

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