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Sweden will not give up tax battle with the EU over quest that voluntary associations pay VAT

Thursday, 22 December 2011
Swedish Finance Minister Anders Borg forecasts continued battle against Brussels in order to exempt sports clubs and other voluntary associations from VAT.
"The Commission must be aware of what a great question this is in Sweden," says Borg.

In a letter to the Commissioner Šemeta, Borg writes that he is disappointed and surprised that the Commission maintains its position. The Ministry of Finance is also sending a letter with arguments about why the status quo should remain.


There recently came a draft of a new VAT Directive. The government had hoped that it would open for exempting non profit organizations from VAT. But the Commission said that Member States already operating it may make some exceptions.

However, one can not treat non-profit organizations differently than, say, small businesses, according t the EU. An exception must apply to all with turnover of up to a certain limit. But such exemption Sweden would carry out, because billion in tax revenues may be lost. In addition, many associations are active in other areas than spending their time trying to manage VAT.
Therefore, Sweden wants that NGO or Voluntary organisations should not in any case be associated with taxes and VAT.

“They must feel a certain respect for a whole sector which volunteer people would be forced to enter into a system that does not work, says Borg.
By Team

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