VAT rules and rates
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The EU has standard rules on VAT but these rules may be applied differently in each EU country. You must normally pay VAT on all goods and services, up to and including the sale to the final consumer. This could also include each stage of a production process, e.g. buying components, assembly, shipping etc.
For EU-based companies, VAT is chargeable on most sales and purchases within the EU.
VAT isn't charged on exports to countries outside the EU. In this case the VAT is paid in the country of import. You will need to provide evidence that the goods were exported to a country outside the EU.
To read more about VAT at national level, select a country from the list below.
If your business is registered you can file a VAT return online (in most regions) in the following EU countries:
Although VAT is charged throughout the EU, each member country is responsible for setting its own rates. You can consult the rates in the table below but to be sure you have the correct rate, it is recommended that you check the latest rates with your local VAT office.
VAT rates applied in EU member countries
|List of VAT rates applied in the Member States (updated twice a year - January & July)|
|Member State||Country code||Standard rate||Reduced rate||Super reduced rate||Parking rate|
|Austria||AT||20||10 / 13||-||13|
|Belgium||BE||21||6 / 12||-||12|
|Cyprus||CY||19||5 / 9||-||-|
|Czechia||CZ||21||10 / 15||-||-|
|Greece||EL||24||6 / 13||-||-|
|Finland||FI||24||10 / 14||-||-|
|France||FR||20||5.5 / 10||2.1||-|
|Croatia||HR||25||5 / 13||-||-|
|Hungary||HU||27||5 / 18||-||-|
|Ireland||IE||23||9 / 13.5||4.8||13.5|
|Italy||IT||22||5 / 10||4||-|
|Lithuania||LT||21||5 / 9||-||-|
|Latvia||LV||21||12 / 5||-||-|
|Malta||MT||18||5 / 7||-||-|
|Poland||PL||23||5 / 8||-||-|
|Portugal||PT||23||6 / 13||-||13|
|Romania||RO||19||5 / 9||-||-|
|Sweden||SE||25||6 / 12||-||-|
To read about VAT rates in more detail you can access the Directorate general Taxation and Customs Union (TAXUD) website.
There are various types of VAT rates applicable depending on the product or service involved in the transaction.
Each country has a standard rate which applies to most supplies. This cannot be less than 15%.
Reduced rates (max. 2) may be applied to a limited variety of sales and normally cannot be less than 5%.
Some countries are allowed to apply specific rates on some sales.
Some countries apply a reduced rate under 5% called super-reduced rate on some sales. For example in Spain a super-reduced rate of 4% is applied to certain services, such as maintenance and adaptation of means of transport for people with disabilities.
Some countries apply zero rates on certain sales. When a zero rate is applied no VAT has to be paid by the consumer but you still have the right to deduct the VAT you have paid on purchases directly related to the sale e.g. for exports and certain financial services to customers outside the EU.
Parking rate (or intermediary rate)
The parking rate applies to certain goods and services not eligible to a reduced rate, on which some EU countries were already applying reduced rates on 1 January 1991. These countries are allowed to continue applying reduced rates on them instead of the standard rate provided that the rate was not lower than 12%.
These special rates were meant as transitional arrangements for a smoother shift from the derogations to the rules when the internal market came into force on 1 January 1993: it was intended to be gradually phased out.