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Insurance in European VAT : Current and Preferred Treatment in the Light of the New Zealand and Australian GST System

Papis-Almansa, Marta LU (2016) In EUCOTAX Series on European Taxation 51.
Abstract
The book provides a thorough legal analysis of the treatment of insurance in the harmonized system of European VAT as compared to the treatment of insurance in the New Zealand and Australian Goods and Services Tax (GST) systems. Insurance constitutes a significant part of the financial services sector, and it is one of the foundations of a modern society and economy. In the design of tax laws, however, whether and how to tax insurance is a complex issue that has become particularly controversial in the area of VAT. In the EU, as in most of the world, insurance is exempt from VAT, but New Zealand and Australia do not follow this practice. Given that New Zealand’s simple, comprehensive GST – called ‘the world’s purest value-added tax’ (and... (More)
The book provides a thorough legal analysis of the treatment of insurance in the harmonized system of European VAT as compared to the treatment of insurance in the New Zealand and Australian Goods and Services Tax (GST) systems. Insurance constitutes a significant part of the financial services sector, and it is one of the foundations of a modern society and economy. In the design of tax laws, however, whether and how to tax insurance is a complex issue that has become particularly controversial in the area of VAT. In the EU, as in most of the world, insurance is exempt from VAT, but New Zealand and Australia do not follow this practice. Given that New Zealand’s simple, comprehensive GST – called ‘the world’s purest value-added tax’ (and its modified Australian version) – do not appear to suffer from the shortcomings in efficiency and effectiveness that plague European VAT, a comparison of the two systems is in order. This book is thus the first to draw a comparative in-depth study of the treatment of insurance in the two systems.

Among the underlying issues and topics treated by the two systems covered are the following: who has a right to deduct input VAT in relation to supplies inherent in insurance arrangements and to what extent;
what constitutes a supply of insurance and consideration for such a supply;
what transactions fall within the scope of the VAT Directive’s exemption for insurance; and
what draws a line between insurance and saving.
The analysis is grounded in a methodology in which concepts of European VAT are compared with concepts performing the same function in the Australian and New Zealand GST laws. The author concludes with proposals for reform in EU VAT in the light of experience in these two major non-EU countries.

This book is the first comprehensive legal research devoted to the treatment of insurance in EU VAT published in English. The assessment of the EU VAT reform helps taxation authorities find practical ways to apply the rules of the VAT Directive to insurance transactions. Given that it has been proven that exemptions from VAT, such as insurance, cause a significant number of economic distortions and inefficiencies, this study represents a major contribution to a topical debate in European VAT law for policymakers, practitioners, and scholars not only in Europe but across the world as well. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Book/Report
publication status
published
subject
keywords
insurance, EU law, tax law, European VAT, value added tax, goods and services tax, Australian GST, New Zealand GST, exemptions from VAT, financial services, comparative tax law
in
EUCOTAX Series on European Taxation
volume
51
pages
327 pages
publisher
Kluwer Law International
ISBN
978-90-411-8360-6
978-90-411-8361-3
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
3d6d4ab4-3efe-4dcf-a413-86a05cc1b341
date added to LUP
2016-12-11 14:02:11
date last changed
2016-12-14 14:54:50
@book{3d6d4ab4-3efe-4dcf-a413-86a05cc1b341,
  abstract     = {The book provides a thorough legal analysis of the treatment of insurance in the harmonized system of European VAT as compared to the treatment of insurance in the New Zealand and Australian Goods and Services Tax (GST) systems. Insurance constitutes a significant part of the financial services sector, and it is one of the foundations of a modern society and economy. In the design of tax laws, however, whether and how to tax insurance is a complex issue that has become particularly controversial in the area of VAT. In the EU, as in most of the world, insurance is exempt from VAT, but New Zealand and Australia do not follow this practice. Given that New Zealand’s simple, comprehensive GST – called ‘the world’s purest value-added tax’ (and its modified Australian version) – do not appear to suffer from the shortcomings in efficiency and effectiveness that plague European VAT, a comparison of the two systems is in order. This book is thus the first to draw a comparative in-depth study of the treatment of insurance in the two systems.<br/><br/>Among the underlying issues and topics treated by the two systems covered are the following: who has a right to deduct input VAT in relation to supplies inherent in insurance arrangements and to what extent;<br/>what constitutes a supply of insurance and consideration for such a supply;<br/>what transactions fall within the scope of the VAT Directive’s exemption for insurance; and<br/>what draws a line between insurance and saving.<br/>The analysis is grounded in a methodology in which concepts of European VAT are compared with concepts performing the same function in the Australian and New Zealand GST laws. The author concludes with proposals for reform in EU VAT in the light of experience in these two major non-EU countries.<br/><br/>This book is the first comprehensive legal research devoted to the treatment of insurance in EU VAT published in English. The assessment of the EU VAT reform helps taxation authorities find practical ways to apply the rules of the VAT Directive to insurance transactions. Given that it has been proven that exemptions from VAT, such as insurance, cause a significant number of economic distortions and inefficiencies, this study represents a major contribution to a topical debate in European VAT law for policymakers, practitioners, and scholars not only in Europe but across the world as well.},
  author       = {Papis-Almansa, Marta},
  isbn         = {978-90-411-8360-6},
  keyword      = {insurance,EU law,tax law,European VAT,value added tax,goods and services tax,Australian GST,New Zealand GST,exemptions from VAT,financial services,comparative tax law},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {12},
  pages        = {327},
  publisher    = {Kluwer Law International},
  series       = {EUCOTAX Series on European Taxation},
  title        = {Insurance in European VAT : Current and Preferred Treatment in the Light of the New Zealand and Australian GST System},
  volume       = {51},
  year         = {2016},
}