Open Access

Collection Dilemmas and Performance Measures of the Value-Added Tax in Germany and Poland


In the European Union Member States, value-added tax (VAT) is undergoing a continuous process of harmonization, which was initiated in the 1960s by the introduction of the First and Second Council Directives and which resulted in the implementation of the common tax assessment base. Currently, the European Union VAT system faces multiple challenges related in particular to the negative side effects of certain design features and progressing globalization. The main aim of this article is to discuss some dilemmas of the common VAT model. Particular attention is placed on the fiscal consequences of VAT preferences, as well as on the origins, components, and implications of the VAT gap. For the purpose of this analysis, 2 neighboring countries were selected, namely, Germany and Poland. On the basis of the national and Eurostat data, the author calculates the most significant VAT performance indicators and reviews the factors decreasing VAT efficiency in these countries in comparison to other European Union Member States.