On 25 May 2016 the Council adopted a directive, now for two more years, the minimum standard VAT rate to 15%.
Article 97 of Directive 2006/112 / EC provides that from January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2015, the standard rate of value added tax (VAT) shall not be less than 15 %.
The minimum standard rate is to avoid excessive discrepancies between the VAT rates applied by Member States as well as the structural imbalances or distortions of competition that may result. A minimum standard rate of 15% was applied to 31 December 2015.
Given the current discussions on a final regulation for a single VAT in the EU, the directive extends the minimum standard rate for a period long enough to ensure legal certainty.
It keeps the rate to 15% from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2017.