Oxford Research has with Economisti Associati and several other partners been commissioned by the Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs Union (DG TAXUD) to carry out an impact assessment study on possible revisions to the VAT exemptions for financial and insurance services in the EU.

Due to the practical difficulties of determining the tax base to levy VAT on certain financial and insurance services, they have traditionally been exempt from VAT. However, evolving technology and business models, in addition to recent court cases to interpret the existing rules, have called this system into question.

The purpose of the study is to provide the European Commission with evidence of the existing problems and likely impacts of several options for the future and thereby support the policy-making process. The study will support an impact assessment in accordance with the Better Regulation guidelines.

It involves a full review of the economic impacts of the current rules on business performance and behaviour, tax intake and consumers, with a focus on potential market distortions and their effects. The results will serve as a baseline against which the likely impacts of future policy options could be estimated and compared. Data collection will include questionnaires, interviews and desk research in all 28 Member States. In addition, an econometric modelling exercise will be undertaken.