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In a recent interview, the managing director of Vistra’s Reading, UK office said of operating internationally: “VAT and indirect taxes look deceptively simple but can go horribly wrong on a small detail, especially with cross-border transactions.” The bottom line is that if your organization operates abroad or is considering international expansion, you’ll have to understand and follow the indirect tax laws of each country of operation. Failure to comply with VAT rules, or to understand your entitlements under local law, can lead to additional costs, unanticipated tax liabilities, potentially needless VAT registrations and of course financial penalties.

Effective January 1, 2015, France now permits an optional value-added tax (“VAT”) reverse charge procedure. The announcement follows the successful implementation of the procedure in the Netherlands and Belgium, both of which have enjoyed greater levels of trade.