The European Commission’s VAT proposals can be divided into three main areas:
- Digital reporting based on e-invoicing
- New VAT rules for platform economy and e-commerce
- Extension of OSS
Following our preceding articles, including our general article about ViDA, this article gives a more detailed overview of the proposed changes in the area of the new VAT rules for platform economy and e-commerce and briefly comments on their impact on businesses. More details about other areas can be found in our other articles which already have been published or will be published in the following weeks.
The proposed rules make platforms liable for charging and remitting the VAT when they facilitate a supply of passenger transport or short-term accommodation. In addition, proposed rules further enhance the role of marketplaces in the collection of VAT when they facilitate the supply of goods.
Providing rental services and passenger transport via platforms
From 2025, a deemed supplier rule will be introduced for platforms operating in passenger transport and short-term accommodation rental. This means that the platforms will be responsible for collecting and remitting VAT when their underlying suppliers will not charge VAT because they are, for example, individuals acting in their private capacity (i.e. non-entrepreneurs for VAT purposes) or exempted small businesses (e.g. operating under the VAT registration threshold).
These platforms will also be required to collect and store information regarding services of short-term accommodation rental and passenger transport for which they are not held liable for VAT.
Sale of goods via platforms (e-commerce)
From 2025, a deemed supplier rule will apply to all (both B2B and B2C; domestic and cross-border within the EU) sales of goods via platforms that facilitate those sales. This means that the facilitating platform instead of an underlying supplier becomes liable for VAT. Currently, a deemed supplier provision only applies to B2C supplies by underlying suppliers who are not established in the EU.
The deeming provision will not apply if the platform is only established in one MS and facilitates local sales in this MS.
A deemed supply rule will also apply to transfer of own goods
From 2025, a deemed supplier rule will also apply to intra-EU transfers of goods belonging to underlying sellers if those transfers are facilitated by a platform/marketplace. For example, if the goods belonging to marketplace sellers are moved between fulfillment centers, then the facilitating marketplaces are deemed to have received the goods at the point of departure from the owner of those goods. The cross-border movement is treated as a movement of the goods belonging to the platform who must therefore report those stock movements for VAT purposes, either through their VAT registration in the MSs involved or through a newly created OSS scheme for the transfer of their own goods (see more details in a separate article “ViDA – extension of OSS”).
Platform facilitation services
From 2025, the facilitation service provided by a platform will be regarded as an intermediary service. Consequently, the place of supply of the B2C facilitation services would follow that of the underlying transaction. This would bring changes in MSs who currently treat those services as electronic services for VAT purposes.
The extended VAT liability for platform operators would apply to the accommodation and transportation sectors. Those platforms need to charge, report and pay VAT on the underlying supplies when the underlying suppliers are not liable to pay VAT. These changes may be discriminatory towards underlying suppliers who must pay VAT without the right to deduct any input VAT. Traders who qualify as VAT entrepreneurs have the option to register for VAT, however, private individuals/non-VAT-entrepreneurs do not have this option. Consequently, this would mean that the individuals or businesses providing their services would be treated differently than other individuals/traders operating locally but not via platforms. The latter either should not register when acting in a private capacity or have a choice not to register if they operate under a threshold applicable for small businesses. In order to avoid such discrimination, rules could allow platforms not to pay VAT when the underlying sellers operate under the threshold.
In addition, the deemed supply rule would apply to sales of goods facilitated by marketplaces and platforms. These changes increase the administrative obligations for facilitating e-commerce platforms who would be made liable for charging and remitting VAT on the sales taking place via their platforms. However, the special scheme for transfers of own goods, or the extended scope of the OSS will be expected to reduce the VAT compliance costs for businesses.
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
- extension of 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 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