The EU VAT systems is essentially based on fractionised payments, VAT being collected at each stage of the production and distribution chain after offsetting the input VAT paid on purchases against output VAT received on sales. According to the main rule laid down by Article 193 of VAT Directive, the person liable for the payment of this VAT is the person supplying goods or services. The liable person is the person who is held to pay VAT to the Treasury

Member States in which the VAT is due may provide for that the person liable for the payment of VAT is the person acquiring the goods or services where the transaction is carried out by a supplier who is not established in the country in which VAT is due. Such reverse charge is regulated by national regulation.