Whether it’s via your own website or marketplaces like Amazon and eBay, eCommerce has never been bigger. Consumers have turned to the internet for everything from groceries to niche goods – and globalisation means an increasing number are importing products from abroad.
If you sell to customers in any EU country, it’s vital that you understand the precise nature and scope of your VAT obligations. It’s likely that you will have to pay VAT at a local level regardless of where you are based in the world, thanks to EU amendments made several years ago.
If your business is based in the EU:
EU businesses selling products directly to customers in other EU nations, or fulfilling orders from other EU countries (e.g. ‘Fulfilled by Amazon’), may have to charge and collect VAT in that country. This is dependent on exceeding distance selling thresholds, the most common of which is €35,000 per tax year.
If your business is based outside the EU:
Businesses exporting goods to Europe for onward sale or distribution are obligated to register for VAT in at least the country they are exporting to. Once in Europe, the previous distance selling thresholds apply the same as if your business was based in that country.
If your business sells digital services:
If your business sells online services as opposed to tangible goods, you may have to pay VAT regardless of the value of your annual sales. These services include:
However, paying VAT on these sales does not necessarily require you to register in each country. The MOSS (Mini One Stop Shop) VAT service allows you to register in any single EU member nation, and use this as a single point of contact to pay any VAT owed to every other member nation.
Cross Border VAT Support.com can:
Our eCommerce expertise
We have assisted hundreds of online businesses in getting started, and guided them through the VAT registration process. We can offer advice on: