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EU Council Approves DAC7 Rules on Digital Platform Tax Reporting

Sam Wichman
May 13, 2021

On 22 March 2021 the EU Council approved DAC7, which establishes EU-wide rules meant to improve administrative cooperation in taxation. In addition, the Directive addresses additional challenges posed by a growing digital platform economy.

What is DAC7?

In 2011, the EU adopted Directive 2011/16/EU on administrative cooperation in the field of taxation in the EU (‘DAC’). The aim of the Directive is to establish a system for secure cooperation between EU countries’ national tax authorities. The Directive also sets out the rules and procedures EU countries must apply when exchanging information for tax purposes. DAC7 is the seventh set of amendments to the Directive.

What are the new rules under DAC7?

The new DAC7 tax rules will require digital platforms to report the income earned by sellers on their platforms to EU tax authorities. As a result, reportable activities will include:

  • The sale of goods
  • The provision of personal services
  • The rental of immovable property
  • The rental of any mode of transport

Reportable information will include tax identification numbers, VAT registration numbers, in addition to other demographic information for sellers. The new rules extend the scope of automatic exchange of information among EU tax officials to the information reported by the digital platform operators.

The object of these new rules is to address the challenges posed by an ever-expanding global digital platform economy. Each year, more and more individuals and businesses use digital platforms to sell goods or provide services. Sales made online have become an even larger share of total global sales in the last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Income earned through these digital platforms is often unreported and tax is not paid, which causes loss of tax revenue for Member States and gives an unfair advantage to suppliers on digital platforms over their traditional business competitors. The new amendments should address these issues, enabling national tax authorities to detect income earned through digital platforms and determine the relevant tax obligations.

Other rules included within the amendments will improve the exchange of information and cooperation between Member States’ tax authorities. It will now be easier than ever to obtain information on groups of taxpayers. Lastly, the new rules set up a framework for authorities of two or more Member States to conduct joint audits.

When will DAC7 apply?

The new DAC7 tax rules will apply to digital platforms operating both inside and outside the EU from 1 January 2023. The framework for authorities of two or more Member States to conduct joint audits will be operational by 2024 at the latest.

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Author

Sam Wichman

Sam Wichman is a Junior Regulatory Counsel at Sovos. Within Sovos’ Regulatory Analysis function, Sam focuses on international VAT, global sales tax, and domestic sales tax issues. Sam received his B.A. in Political Science and Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his J.D. from Boston College Law School. Sam is pending admission to the Massachusetts Bar.
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