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The Voucher Directive will regulate the way of VAT chargeability on vouchers

2017-01-27

Council Directive (EU) 2016/1065 of 27 June 2016 amending Directive 2006/112/EC as regards the treatment of vouchers will be applicable to vouchers issued after 31 December 2018. As of that date, respective national legislations should be implemented.

The Voucher Directive makes a distinction between:

- single-purpose vouchers (SPV) –  vouchers where the place of supply of the goods or services to which the voucher relates, and the VAT due on those goods or services, are known at the time of issue of the voucher,

- multi-purpose vouchers (MPV) – vouchers other than a single-purpose voucher.

And a voucher means an instrument where there is an obligation to accept it as consideration or part consideration for a supply of goods or services and where

- the goods or services to be supplied, or

- the identities of their potential suppliers

are either indicated on the instrument itself or in related documentation, including the terms and conditions of use of such instrument.

So an SPV will be a voucher entitling to exchange the same for clothing at a specified sales outlet. While an MPV will be a voucher entitling to purchase goods in the hypermarket chain offering products chargeable with different VAT rates.

In the case of SPVs, each transfer of such voucher made by a taxable person acting in his own name is regarded as a supply of the goods or services (tax is chargeable at the time of voucher transfer). The fact of handing over of the goods or the provision of the services in return for such a voucher will not be a supply of the goods or services – the actual handing over of the goods or the provision of the service will not be subject to VAT. Where a transfer of an SPV is made by a taxable person acting in the name of another taxable person, that transfer will be also regarded as a supply of the goods or services, but made by the taxable person in the name of whom the first entity (transferring the voucher) was acting. Reverse regulations are envisaged for MPVs – in such case the actual handing over of the goods or the provision of the services will be subject to VAT (tax is chargeable on the date when the voucher is redeemed). So in the case of a voucher given by our example clothing outlet, the supply of the goods will take place already at the time when the voucher is handed over by the outlet to a customer. If, however, a voucher has been issued by a hypermarket, the supply of the goods or the provisions of the services will be effected only at the time of redemption of such voucher.

The new regulations should clear doubts as regards the taxation of vouchers which are definitely very popular in Poland.