Companies in retail and wholesale are crucial for tax income: they are an important taxpayer and also a major collector of VAT.
Retailers and wholesalers, in particular those operating cross-border, have to cope with different national fiscal systems. The administrative burden involved unnecessarily increases costs for companies.
For a free, competitive internal market to succeed, a certain level of harmonisation and enforcement of fiscal rules are necessary. Taxation remains a sensitive issue for national governments and any decision at EU level requires unanimity. As a result, progress so far has been slow.