,

The EU E-Commerce VAT Package – What Have We Learned Nine Months On?

Russell Hughes
April 15, 2022

It’s been just over nine months since the introduction of one of the biggest changes in EU VAT rules for e-commerce retailers, the E-Commerce VAT Package extending the One Stop Shop (OSS) and introducing the Import One Stop Shop (IOSS).

The goal of the EU E-commerce VAT Package is to simplify cross-border B2C trade in the EU, easing the burden on businesses, reducing the administrative costs of VAT compliance and ensuring that VAT is correctly charged on such sales.

Under the new rules, the country specific distance selling thresholds for goods were removed and replaced with an EU wide threshold of €10,000 for EU established businesses and non-EU established businesses now have no threshold. For many businesses this means VAT is due in all countries they sell to, requiring them to be VAT registered in many more countries than pre-July 2021. However, the introduction of the Union OSS allowed them to simplify their VAT obligations by allowing them to report VAT on all EU sales under the one OSS return.

How the EU E-commerce VAT Package has affected businesses

Whilst for many businesses the thought of having to charge VAT in all countries they sell to may have been overwhelming to begin with, they are now seeing the many benefits that the introduction of OSS was meant to achieve. The biggest benefit for businesses is the simplification of VAT compliance requirements with one quarterly VAT return as opposed to meeting many filing and payment deadlines in different EU Member States.

Businesses who outsource their VAT compliance have been able to reduce their costs significantly by deregistering from the VAT regime in many Member States where they were previously VAT registered. Although some additional registrations may be required depending on specific supply chains and location of stock around the EU. Businesses also receive a cash flow benefit under the OSS regime as VAT is due on a quarterly basis as opposed to a monthly or bi-monthly basis as was the case previously in many Member States. As part of the implementation of the EU E-Commerce VAT Package we also saw the removal of low value consignment relief, which meant import VAT was due on all goods coming into the EU. This has brought many non-EU suppliers into the EU’s VAT regime with the European Commission (EC) announcing that there are currently over 8,000 registered traders.

We have seen some early hiccups with EU Member States not recognizing IOSS numbers upon import, leading to double taxation for some sellers. But for the majority of businesses IOSS has enabled them to streamline the sale of goods to EU customers for orders below €150. The EC has also recently hailed the initial success of this scheme by releasing preliminary figures which show that €1.9 billion in VAT revenues has been collected to date.

The future of OSS and IOSS

The EC is currently undergoing a consultation, gathering feedback from stakeholders on how the new schemes have performed with a view to making potential changes. Some of the changes being discussed include making the IOSS scheme mandatory for all businesses, which would significantly widen its use as it brings significantly more traders into scope. There has also been talk of increasing the current €150 threshold which would allow more consignments to be eligible for IOSS, although with the current customs duties threshold also being €150 it would be interesting to see how they align these rules. The EC will also be publishing proposals later in the year on the possible extension of the OSS to include B2B goods transactions, with a view to implementing this by 2024.

Take Action

Get in touch with our team to find out how we can help your business understand the new OSS requirements.

Want to know more about the EU E-Commerce VAT Package and One Stop Shop and how it can impact your business? Download our e-book.

Sign up for Email Updates

Stay up to date with the latest tax and compliance updates that may impact your business.

Author

Russell Hughes

At Sovos, Russell works within the Consulting team providing UK and cross-border supply advice, detailed reviews on existing and new business activities and practical solutions to clients’ businesses. Prior to joining Sovos, Russell was the VAT manager of an award-winning tax team based in a firm of Chartered Accountants in the South East of England. Having initially begun his career in audit and accounts, he specialized in VAT in 2011, where he gained significant experience in cross-border issues, imports and exports, land and property, group registrations, partial exemption, HMRC enquiries and other complex VAT transactions. From June 2015, Russell was the sole VAT specialist in his previous company, where he led the firm’s VAT compliance and consultancy projects including all day-to-day VAT queries. Russell is also a member of the VAT Practitioners Group (VPG).
Share This Post

EMEA IPT
November 23, 2022
Fire Brigade Tax in Slovenia

Problems encountered with Fire Brigade Tax rate increase in Slovenia Slovenia’s Fire Brigade Tax (FBT) has changed. The rate increased from 5% to 9%. This came into effect on 1 October 2022. The first submission deadline followed on 15 November 2022. Unfortunately, the transition has been plagued by problems. We discuss some issues and how […]

E-Invoicing Compliance EMEA
November 22, 2022
E-invoicing and Fiscal Digitization in Africa

African countries are following e-invoicing and continuous transaction control trends implemented rapidly by many countries around the globe. Each country in the continent is developing their variation of a tax digitization system. This means there is currently no standardisation with compliance requirements differing in each jurisdiction. A common transaction reporting feature among African countries is […]

EMEA VAT & Fiscal Reporting
November 22, 2022
Expert Series Part IV: New Roles for IT in the Wake of Expanding Global Mandates

Part IV of V – Ryan Ostilly, vice president of product and GTM strategy EMEA & APAC, Sovos Click here to read part III of the series.   Government-mandated e-invoicing laws are making their way across nearly every region of the globe, bringing more stringent mandates and expectations on businesses. Inserted into every aspect of your […]

E-Invoicing Compliance EMEA
November 16, 2022
Denmark E-Invoicing Requirements

New bookkeeping law – Lov om bogføring On 19 May 2022, the Danish Parliament passed a new bookkeeping law – Lov om bogføring – introducing requirements for companies to use a digital bookkeeping system. Section 16 of the Law requires many Danish companies to use a digital bookkeeping system and make their bookings electronically. The final […]

EMEA VAT & Fiscal Reporting
November 15, 2022
UK: Updates to Making Tax Digital for VAT

Update: 3 November 2022 by Russell Hughes Making Tax Digital – Filing VAT Returns through Online VAT Account to become redundant From Tuesday 1 November 2022, businesses filing VAT returns in the UK will no longer be able to submit via an existing online VAT account unless HMRC has agreed to an exemption from Making […]