On 27 June 2016, the Council adopted a directive aimed at increasing legal certainty for transactions involving vouchers by harmonising national VAT rules in this area.
The directive sets out to reduce the risk of mismatches in national tax rules leading to double taxation, non-taxation or other undesired consequences. This can happen where a voucher is issued in one member state and used in another, and particularly where vouchers are traded. Vouchers are used increasingly and come in many forms. They include for instance pre-paid telecom cards, gift cards and price discount coupons for the purchase of goods or services. Narrower in scope than the Commission's 2012 proposal, the directive defines single-purpose vouchers and multi-purpose vouchers and sets rules to determine the taxable value of transactions in both cases. The member states will have until 31 December 2018 to transpose the directive into national laws and regulations. Provisions will only apply to vouchers issued after that date.
The directive was adopted without discussion at a meeting of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council.