The European Commission’s VAT proposals can be divided into three main areas:
- Real-time digital reporting requirements (DRR) based on e-invoicing
- New VAT rules for platform economy and e-commerce
- An extension of OSS
Following our preceding articles, including our general article about ViDA, this last article in the series about the VIDA proposals gives an overview of the proposed changes in the area of the extension of the OSS and briefly comments on their impact on businesses. More details about other areas can be found by clicking on the relevant link above.
These measures apply from 2025 and aim to decrease the need for multiple VAT registrations by expanding the OSS and domestic reverse charge. A broader range of goods could be reported through OSS, including the movement of a business’s own stock. In addition, they will make it obligatory for marketplaces and platforms to make use of the IOSS scheme when they facilitate certain low-value imports of goods to consumers in the EU.
Extension of OSS to all types of B2C and to some B2B supplies
The OSS scheme currently provides a business selling goods B2C in other Member States (MSs) as well as a marketplace collecting VAT as the deemed supplier to fulfill their VAT compliance obligations via a single online portal. Several cross-border B2C services provided across the EU can also be reported via the OSS.
The proposed rules will extend the scope of the OSS to cover all B2C services which are provided in the MSs where businesses are not established. The scope of the non-union OSS will cover all B2C services and not only supplies of services to EU-established customers.
The scope of the Union OSS scheme will be expanded to cover domestic B2C supplies of goods by businesses that are not registered for VAT in the Member State (MS) of consumption.
For the following types of supplies, Union OSS cannot only be used for reporting B2C but also B2B supplies:
- supplies of goods with installation,
- supply of goods on board of ships, aircraft, or trains;
- supply of gas, electricity, heating and cooling types of supplies; and
- domestic supplies of margin scheme goods, when those goods are supplied by a taxable dealer who is not registered for VAT in the MS where such supplies of goods take place.
New special scheme for transfers of own goods
From 2025, stock transfers could be reported in a Union OSS return. Businesses transferring stock between EU MSs could report those movements of their own goods in their MS of identification. This would be the MS of establishment for EU businesses and the MS of departure of the goods for non-EU businesses.
Call-off stocks arrangements currently falling under EU simplification measures could also be reported through the Union OSS return.
The EU call-off stock simplification will be phased out
Beyond 31 December 2024, no new transfers of stock under the EU call-off stock arrangements can be effected. For call-off stock arrangements commencing on or before 31 December 2024, the relevant conditions, including the 12-month time limit for transferring ownership of those goods to the intended purchaser, should continue to apply. The simplification will cease to apply with effect from 31 December 2025 since the simplification will no longer be required after that date because those movements of goods can be reported via the Union OSS for transfers of own goods.
Extended domestic reverse charge
From 2025, the domestic reverse charge will apply for all B2B supplies of goods and services made by non-established businesses if the recipient of the goods or the services is registered for VAT in the MS in which the VAT is due. It moves the burden of VAT payable to the buyer rather than the seller, meaning that the overseas seller does not need to register for VAT in the EU MS it is supplying to if the buyer is VAT registered in this MS.
Currently, the domestic reverse charge is an optional provision included in Article 194 of the EU VAT Directive. It applies to B2B sales where the supplier is not established in the MS in which the VAT is due.
In the Netherlands, the domestic reverse charge already applies to all local supplies of goods and services by non-established businesses if the recipient of the goods or receiver of the services is established in the Netherlands. If the EU proposal is adopted, then this means that the scope of the reverse charge will be further extended.
Suppliers need to report the transactions subject to the extended mandatory domestic reverse charge in the ESL from 1 January 2025, and in the EU DRR (e-invoicing and transaction-based reporting), from 1 January 2028. The acquirer of the goods or services also needs to report the purchases in the EU DRR from 1 January 2028.
The marketplaces will be obliged to use the Import One Stop Shop (IOSS) scheme.
It will be obligatory for marketplaces and platforms to make use of the IOSS scheme when they facilitate certain imports of goods to consumers in the EU. This was introduced as an optional scheme for facilitating marketplaces in July 2021 and will become mandatory from 1 January 2025 for platforms facilitating B2C distance sales of imported goods with a low value. However, the platforms that exclusively facilitate domestic supplies in their MS of establishment would fall outside the scope of the measure.
The European Commission further intends to implement measures to prevent IOSS number VAT fraud, such as linking the unique consignment number with the IOSS VAT identification number.
These changes, i.e. the extended scope of the OSS, the special scheme for transfers of own goods, and the extended scope of application of the domestic reverse charge, will reduce the VAT compliance costs for businesses and will therefore be expected to be welcomed by businesses. However, from 2028, the changes will be accompanied by increased obligations of (digital) reporting and e-invoicing which will generate costs for taxpayers; however, the decreased fragmentation in the compliance requirements and complementary measures (e.g., the pre-filling of the VAT return and removal of other compliance obligations) can hopefully generate savings which would compensate for the new burdens.
The VAT in the Digital Age (ViDA) proposal includes the following changes:
- e-invoices will not be subject to the acceptance of the recipient
- only files with a specific structure will be considered as e-invoices
- MSs may oblige e-invoicing but they should allow e-invoices that comply with the EU e-invoicing standard
- MSs who already have e-invoicing in place are allowed to require pre-clearance until 2028, however, no new pre-clearance systems are allowed
- the OSS will be extended to all B2C supplies, some B2B supplies, and stock movements
- no new transfers of stock under the EU call-off stock arrangements can be effected
- the Import One Stop Shop (IOSS) becomes obligatory for facilitating marketplaces
- the domestic reverse charge applies for B2B supplies of goods and services made by non-established businesses
- the transactions subject to the new domestic reverse should be reported in ESLs
- platforms in passenger transport and short-term accommodation sectors become responsible for collecting and remitting VAT when the underlying suppliers are not liable to pay VAT
- a deemed supplier rule will apply to all (both B2B and B2C) domestic and cross-border sales of goods in the EU via e-commerce platforms that facilitate those sales
- the EU call-off stock simplification will cease to exist
- the content of e-invoices will be extended with mandatory payment details and an ID number of corrected invoices
- the possibility to issue summary invoices will be eliminated
- e-invoicing becomes mandatory for B2B intra-community supplies of goods and services and local supplies subject to the domestic reverse charge
- e-invoices should be issued within two days
- mandatory digital reporting will be introduced for B2B intra-community transactions and sales subject to the obligatory domestic reverse charge (data to be sent within two days).
- withdrawal of ESL reporting since replaced by the above
- buyers should digitally report their intra-Community acquisitions of goods and services as well as purchases subject to the domestic reverse charge
- the domestic DRRs should ensure convergence with the EU DRR