The current VAT rules for passenger transport activities can create distortions of competition, notably owing to differences among Members States in the application of VAT exemptions or reduced rates. Even where exemptions or reduced rates do not apply, the complexity of the current place-of-supply rules increase compliance costs and may cause voluntary or involuntary non-compliance. Since the last large-scale review in 1997, the passenger transport sector has changed in a considerable way, as a result of the greater impacts of airline deregulation, implementation of rail concessioning, and the deregulation of bus transport. The cruise industry has also changed and experienced high growth. Hence, the importance of the distortions has increased.
This study contributes to the debate on possible options for reform by providing a summary of the current state of the passenger transport market, a review of the current VAT regime, an assessment of the impact of many of the distortions and an evaluation of some alternative VAT solutions on which a future improved VAT regime for the transport sector might be based."
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