Guide on the theoretical VAT - Practical guidelines for enhanced comparability across countries - 2023 edition
‘Theoretical VAT’, defined as the amounts of VAT which would be collected if all units subject to VAT were to pay it as required by law, is a concept of great interest for economic and fiscal analyses. In the domain of national accounts, estimation of theoretical VAT receipts is a crucial first step for estimating exhaustiveness adjustments for non-collected VAT. Theoretical VAT also plays an important role in validating GDP estimates.
Given the variety of approaches to the national accounts-based calculation of theoretical VAT in EU countries, this paper has been drawn up to propose practical guidelines for enhanced comparability in this regard. In the quest for good practices to be considered in this calculation, it explored the advantages offered by the framework used until recently to calculate the so-called ‘Weighted Average Rate’ (WAR) for the purpose of the VAT own resource of the EU budget.