(Brussels) “Rules on Value Added Tax (VAT) are key to the operation of the single European market, but such rules should not be simplified to the detriment of the purposes of a fair, equal tax system”. This is, in a nutshell, the contribution made by the Commission of the EU Bishops Conferences (Comece) to the EU public consultation about the reform of VAT rates that ended on March 20th. The consultation is part of the initiatives listed in the policy adopted by the European Commission for the establishment of a single European VAT area. The contribution that Comece submitted – and that can now be consulted on the website www.comece.eu – lists four recommendations: “focus on the needs of the poorer ones by applying reduced VAT rates for basic assets and services”; apply “reduced rates on services and assets for children, given that, “compared with childless or single-child families, large or single-parent families are more exposed to poverty”. It also asks to keep the Churches and non-profit organisations exempted from VAT, as their efforts “pursue the common good”. Lastly, in the run-up to the European Year of Cultural Heritage that will be celebrated in 2018, it asks to authorise “tax deductions for the restoration of churches and places of worship”.