The Council of the EU in December 2017 adopted measures intended to simplify the value added tax (VAT) system for online businesses in the EU.
Among other things, the anticipated VAT system would—effective 1 January 2021—treat an operator of electronic marketplaces for distance sales from the EU and from third countries (e.g., business-to-consumer transactions) as if the electronic marketplace had received and delivered the goods itself, provided that the value of the consignment would not exceed €150. It would be possible, on the basis of the VAT Directive, to extend application of joint and several liability to the operator of the electronic marketplace (even before 1 January 2021).
In Germany, the governing coalition agreement among the ruling political parties (CDU, CSU, and SPD) envisages new legislation to combat VAT fraud associated with the online trading in goods. Under this new system, operators of electronic marketplaces that fail to prevent “dishonest” traders from using their electronic marketplace would be liable for the amount of VAT evaded in such transactions.
Other recent VAT developments that may affect businesses in Germany include the following:
Read a January-February 2018 report [PDF 313 KB] prepared by the KPMG member firm in Germany.
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