CASE Network Reports, EU, Europe, Financial sector, CASE Reports, taxes

Study to quantify and analyse the VAT Gap in the EU-27 Member States

This report presents and discusses the findings of the “Study to quantify and analyse the VAT Gap in the EU-27 Member States”, conducted by CASE and CPB. The main aim of the study was to help better understand the recent trends in the field of VAT fraud and analyse determinants of VAT Gaps using a number of econometric techniques. The authors discuss the structure of the VAT systems in the EU, the broad trends in the EU economy over the period 2000-2011, and review the behaviour of VAT revenues, as well as the changes in VAT rates and exemptions that have occurred as a response to economic events or policy decisions. They pay particular attention to the events following the onset of the economic crisis in 2008. Moreover, they discuss the definition of VAT Gaps that has been used in this study, as well as other alternatives existing in the literature. They review possible shortcomings associated with different concepts. Subsequently, they present the results of the estimations for EU-26 countries for the period 2000-2011. The estimates are first discussed for the EU-26 as a whole, and then for each country individually. Finally, an econometric analysis of the determinants of VAT Gaps for the period under consideration is provided.