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Platform Economy & VAT

New Intermediaries in European Value Added Tax: Services in the Platform Economy as a case study

Funding: Austrian Academy of Sciences

Funding Program: DOC Fellowship Programme

Funding Period: 1.2.2020 – 31.1.2023

In her research project, Lily Zechner is researching whether and how the current system of European value added tax (VAT) can sufficiently address challenges posed by digital business models. Current European VAT law is projected to be able to capture many of the new business models. Presently, tax enforcement relies heavily on businesses acting as intermediaries between taxpayers and the government. In the context of the digital economy, internet platforms can be obliged to disclose information about services provided via the platform. However, in the case of ‘distributed’ internet platforms, such as blockchains, the responsible entity remains to be identified. To this end, cross-border cooperation amongst tax authorities is essential. Conversely, a lack of suitable and enforceable VAT rules could undermine taxation goals and compromise state revenue. Click here for an abstract of Ms. Zechner’s doctoral thesis.

Relevant publications: 

  • Zechner, Understanding VAT in Three-Party, Platform-Based Business Models: Which Party is Supplying Which Service? EC Tax Review 2022, pp. 171 - 183
  • Ehrke-Rabel/Hammerl/Zechner, "VAT in the Digital Economy" (in German language), ifst-Schrift 538 (2021)
  • Hammerl/Zechner, "Platform Operators' Roles in VAT Enforcement" (in German language), SWK-Spezial (2020)
  • Zechner, "Airbnb and VAT: Attributing Supplies of Services to Internet Platform Operators and/or their Users" (in German language), Österreichische Steuerzeitung 2020, pp. 300 - 309
  • Ehrke-Rabel/Zechner, VAT Treatment of Cryptocurrency Intermediation Services, Intertax 2020, pp. 498 - 514
  • Zechner, How to Treat the Ride-Hailing Company Uber for VAT Purposes, International VAT Monitor 2019, pp. 261 - 265
  • Ehrke-Rabel/Eisenberger/Hödl/Zechner, “Legal and Regulatory Aspects of Bitcoin Mining as a Form of Prosuming” (in German language), Austrian Law Journal 2017, pp. 188 - 223
  • Zechner, “VAT Treatment of Cryptocurrency Exchanges and Wallet Providers” (in German language), taxlex 2017, pp. 388 - 399

(Authors in alphabetical order)


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