The most important reform of the EU-Value Added Tax-regulations means not only relief for online traders and tax advisors, but also holds pitfalls.
Read our big special on the One Stop Shop to find out everything you need to know about the OSS process itself, registration and regular use, as well as scope and exceptions.
In this way, you are optimally informed and prepared with regard to your upcoming VAT obligations for international shipments.
Note on our own behalf: Taxdoo will offer an automated solution for the One Stop Shop. If you are not yet a customer, you are welcome to inform yourself personally during a live demo, which you can book here.
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
2 EU VAT E-Commerce Package, the major VAT reform
3 Before the One Stop Shop: mail order regulation and delivery thresholds
4 Distance selling from 1.7.2021
5 How does the One Stop Shop work?
6 OSS: Who benefits and for whom does it get more complicated?
7 Which tax rate for which product in which EU state?
8 Are you OSS-ready? Checklist for the OSS procedure!
9 One Stop Shop and / or local registrations?
10 One Stop Shop Registration / Registration via BZSt and My BOP
11 CONCLUSION: Additional requirements for most online traders
12 FAQ about the One Stop Shop
With the OSS procedure come new (additional?) tax obligations from July 2021 - in (almost) all EU states
From 1.7.2021, deliveries to other EU countries will almost always have to be taxed there.
The One Stop Shop is then intended to simplify many things with regard to Value Added Tax in online trading. VAT returns in the case of tax liability abroad can then be reported in the country of domicile via the One Stop Shop - a platform of the Federal Central Tax Office (BZSt).
However, the use of the One Stop Shop procedure will only be possible for certain types of transactions. Merchants participating in e.g. the Pan EU program of Amazon or using other cross-border fulfillment systems will need additional solutions.
The regulatory framework behind it -- the second stage of the Value Added Tax e-commerce package -- is thus unfortunately outdated even before it is introduced.
But let's start from the beginning and answer the following questions in order.
- What is the reason for this reform?
- Why has it been so bumpy so far?
- Who and what benefits from this?
- How do you prepare for this as a tax consultant or trader?
EU VAT E-Commerce Package: How did this major VAT reform come about?
The value added tax law of the European Union (EU) is still largely at the level of 1993 and is no longer compatible with the rapidly progressing development of online trade.
In order to free the digital single market from these very barriers, all member states of the EU already agreed at the end of 2017 to convert the Value Added Tax e-commerce package - with the so-called One Stop Shop as a central element - into national law. The implementation was actually supposed to take place on 1.1.2021. However, as many member states had problems providing the technological platform for the One Stop Shop, the deadline was postponed from 1.1.2021 to 1.7.2021.
Let's start with the status quo first and then explain the system change.
Before the One Stop Shop, there are the mail order regulations and delivery thresholds (§ 3c UStG).
So that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) do not have to register for VAT in every EU state to which they send goods from the first euro and search for a local and possibly cost-intensive tax advisor, so-called delivery thresholds were introduced as early as 1993. Up to this limit, online traders may continue to pay tax on their cross-border deliveries within the EU at their home tax office.
The value of the supply threshold should in principle be 100,000 euros. The Member States may lower the amount to 35,000 euros, which almost all Member States have done. There are only three states that still have a delivery threshold of 100,000 euros:
- Netherlands and
If a delivery threshold is exceeded, these three steps must be followed:
(1) The supply which has led to the supply threshold being exceeded must already be taxed in the country of destination - i.e. the country in which the recipient is located. In doing so, the VAT rate applicable there must be taken into account. It should be noted that the range of standard tax rates in the EU varies between 17 and 27 percent.
2. you must register with the relevant tax office in the country of destination and be registered for tax purposes there.
3. thereafter, Value Added Tax declarations must be submitted on an ongoing basis and the Value Added Tax paid for the aforementioned sales abroad.
Especially in the context of company audits and Value Added Tax special audits, you will have to deal with the delivery thresholds and the previous regulations for a few more years, as these audits by the tax authorities can always take place several years retrospectively.
But how this logic will change fundamentally from 1.7.2021, we explain to you in the following section.
EU VAT E-Commerce Package: Distance selling as of 1.7.2021
The second stage of the Value Added Tax e-commerce package, which all EU states must implement in national law by 1 July 2021, provides for the abolition of all national supply thresholds. These will be replaced by a single EU-wide delivery threshold of 10,000 euros net.
Cross-border supplies within the EU to end consumers - so-called distance sales - must be taxed in the country of destination from 01.07.2021 if the uniform threshold of 10,000 euros (net) has been exceeded.
For which cases is the 10,000 Euro limit to be considered?
The uniform threshold of 10,000 euros (net) per calendar year will apply from 1.7.2021 to the following cases:
- Intra-Community distance sales (§ 3c UStG) and
- Digital services (e.g. streaming or e-books) (§ 3a para. 5 UStG)
If this amount is exceeded in the context of cross-border deliveries and/or digital services, these transactions must always be taxed in the country of destination. This means that, for example, even a parcel to Malta or Lithuania must be taxed in the country of destination.
Since the reform will take effect exactly halfway through the year on 1 July 2021, the question arises as to how the many old delivery thresholds and the one new one for the calendar year 2021 are to be calculated.
Application of the uniform supply threshold in the tax period 2021: No halving of the supply thresholds
In connection with the uniform supply threshold of 10,000 euros (net) for distance sales and digital services, many of you are wondering how this supply threshold is to be applied in the tax period 2021, in which the old system of the mail order business regulation including national supply thresholds and the new OSS procedure meet.
Please note that for the taxation period 2021, no pro rata temporis apportionment of the turnover threshold of 10,000 euros net is to be made. An apportionment is also not provided for the "old" delivery thresholds within the meaning of the mail order regulation.
In addition, for the assessment of the uniform supply threshold in 2021, supplies and digital services carried out in the calendar year 2020 and the first half of 2021 are also to be taken into account. This is also clarified in the letter of the Federal Ministry of Finance dated 1 April 2021.
This will result in a tax liability in almost every EU country to which even one parcel is sent.
One can therefore legitimately ask where the simplification is in this VAT reform for online trade.
The answer lies in the key technology One Stop Shop.
How does the One Stop Shop work?
The One Stop Shop is a platform that is being developed in Germany by the Federal Central Tax Office (Bundeszentralamt für Steuern) and is intended as a single point of contact to ensure central Value Added Tax compliance in the country of domicile. Online traders who will become liable to pay tax in other EU states in the future due to their cross-border B2C sales can report their sales via the One Stop Shop and also settle their VAT debt there.
The Federal Central Tax Office will subsequently distribute the reported sales and also the collected Value Added Tax to the respective EU states.
This ensures that you do not have to be registered locally for tax purposes in each individual EU state and continually submit Value Added Tax reports as soon as the EU-wide delivery threshold of 10,000 euros is exceeded.
Note: The predecessor of the One Stop Shop - the Mini One Stop Shop - which has been used in the past to report cross-border digital services to private customers, will be integrated into the One Stop Shop as of 01.07.2021. Thus, in the second half of the year, there will no longer be a separate MOSS procedure and the OSS will become the one-stop shop for cross-border distance sales and digital services.
The following specifics of the OSS process are intended to provide additional incentives to use this technology:
- Those who report their cross-border B2C supplies (distance sales) via the One Stop Shop no longer have to issue invoices for these supplies (§ 14a para. 2 UStG).
- The reporting period is always the quarter, i.e. the OSS reports must always be submitted by 31 January, 30 April, 31 July and 31 October of a year at the latest.
- The payment deadline is 30 days after the end of the reporting period.
- The Value Added Tax is also transferred to only one place: the Federal Central Tax Office or to an account at the Federal Treasury.
- Corrections of incorrect OSS declarations are always made in the current OSS declaration.
That sounds good at first. However, not everyone will be able to benefit from the advantages.
One Stop Shop: Who benefits from the OSS and for whom does it get more complicated?
Anyone who has been involved with tax law for any length of time knows that tax reforms are always a race between agile reality and rigid standards. Especially in the very dynamic environment of online trading, major legislative reforms that are supposed to represent a simplification are thus doomed to failure from the very beginning.
The One Stop Shop also shows this. Some will benefit from this - unfortunately, online retail as a whole, including the technologies of 2021, will not.
For whom does the One Stop Shop (OSS) simplify things? Companies that only make long-distance sales!
In the area of online trade, the One Stop Shop will only be a basic facilitation for companies that ship products to end consumers from a single central warehouse in other EU countries.
This is because, in the context of online trade within the EU, only distance sales via the One Stop Shop may be reported - i.e. sales from one EU state to another EU state to end consumers.
Note: In the course of the change in the law as of 01.07.21, a one-stop shop for imports - the so-called Import One Stop Shop (IOSS) - will also be introduced. The Import One Stop Shop can be used for shipments imported from third countries with a value of up to 150 euros.
The only question at this point is: How do you recognize end users in a highly automated process like online commerce?
The answer to this is: A distance sale is always present if there is no valid foreign Value Added Tax identification number (VAT-ID).
In addition to online traders who make distance sales throughout the EU, marketplaces can also use the One Stop Shop. In the future, marketplaces and so-called operators of electronic interfaces will generally be included in the supply chain of third-country online traders in the EU from a VAT perspective to the extent that they become liable for tax in the country of receipt of the goods.
Note: The background to this regulation is that marketplaces based in the EU are often more accessible to the European tax authorities than online traders based in third countries. In order to reduce the administrative burden here as well and to avoid local registration of the interface operators in all Member States, operators of electronic interfaces can use the One Stop Shop procedure.
The "Union One Stop Shop", Amazon Pan EU, Amazon CEE and the Quick Fixes 2020
Those who rely on cross-border fulfilment from Amazon - e.g. Amazon Pan EU or Amazon CEE - or other marketplaces will be able to use the One Stop Shop or the "Union One Stop Shop" or "Union OSS", as Amazon refers to it in the letter of 06.04.2021 to all sellers, in their country of domicile.
However, one will also have to deal with local tax registrations in other EU countries.
It is these fulfillment structures that make it clear that the reform is now out of time. The desire of end consumers to receive their orders as quickly as possible can only be met if the goods are already placed as close as possible to the buyer before the order is placed. A marketplace such as Amazon provides this service for retailers and has perfected this high-tech form of logistics.
In particular, the so-called Amazon Commingling transactions increase the complexity under VAT law and cannot be mapped via the OSS interface. You can find out what commingling transactions are and which VAT challenges arise here.
However, in the case of Amazon , this inevitably leads to the corresponding goods being moved within the EU to at least six EU states - and this is also constantly being moved, depending on forecast demand and warehouse capacity utilisation.
From a VAT perspective, this is where the complexity begins. The constant - sometimes several times a month - cross-border transfers represent taxable turnover from this perspective:
- intra-Community (i.g.) shipments in the country of origin, and
- Corresponding i.g. acquisitions in the country of destination
The following diagram illustrates the topic using the example of fulfillment centers in Poland and the Czech Republic as part of the Amazon CEE program:
The related transactions relevant for VAT purposes - intra-Community transfers or acquisitions, local supplies and input services (input tax) in the country of the respective fulfilment centre - cannot be reported via the One Stop Shop and must continue to be reported via local registrations in the individual Member States.
If you do not report the relocations through Amazon (i.e. intra-Community shipments), you will have to pay Value Added Tax as of 1 January 2020. The legal reform behind this was the so-called Quick Fixes 2020, which we explain in the following video:
Therefore, you need to introduce at least two compliance strands:
- The reporting of all distance sales through the OSS in the State of residence
- The reporting of i.g. acquisitions/transfers, local sales and incoming services in other EU countries via local registrations in the respective EU state.
Which tax rate for which product in which EU state? The challenge is increasing!
If one considers that, as a result of the abolition of the delivery thresholds, cross-border deliveries to end consumers will be taxable in almost every EU state, one may rightly ask: How do I know which tax rate applies to my products in which EU state?
The topic of tax rates and Value Added Tax within the EU is quite complicated. EU law allows the following range and therefore offers significantly more leeway than we are used to in Germany with the two tax rates of 7 and 19 percent:
- Standard tax rate: Here the range in the EU is between 17 and 27 percent. The statutory minimum is 15; there has not been an upper limit for some years.
- Reduced rate I: This must be at least 5 per cent and less than 15 per cent - the application is limited to products listed in Annex III of the VAT system directive.
- Reduced rate II: The same conditions apply as for reduced rate I.
- Zero tax rates: As the name suggests, the tax rate here is zero percent. The whole thing is not to be confused with a tax exemption.
- Special rates: These can be chosen almost arbitrarily - but always only after approval (and often limited in time) by the EU Commission.
This range of rates, which has been fully exploited by many Member States, makes determining the correct rate of tax under the 1 July 2021 new regime particularly challenging for online retailers.
The example of coffee illustrates the problem quite well. In Germany, coffee is taxed at a reduced rate like many other foodstuffs: 7 percent. France also has reduced taxation. However, there are three options there: 2.1 percent, 5.5 percent and 10 percent. In this example, the truth lies in the middle: at 5.5 percent.
How can an online trader with an assortment of 5,000 products and tax obligations in all EU states from 1.7.2021 determine the tax rates for all 5,000 products and all EU states with legal certainty?
Ultimately, this will only be possible automatically - e.g. via a unique product characteristic such as the so-called customs tariff number. With the help of the customs tariff number, every product can be classified worldwide, so that an automated determination of the tax rates - then via corresponding databases - is also possible.
These are now quite a few challenges in their entirety, which the new legal regulation to 01.07.2021 brings with it. We therefore summarise these once again in a checklist.
Are you OSS-ready? Checklist for the OSS process!
- Make sure that you can determine tax rates automatically and EU-wide - ideally via the customs tariff number!
- Register for the One Stop Shop! How to do that, we show you below.
- If you participate in the Amazon Pan EU program - or similar programs - then you must identify your remote sales and then report them via the OSS, but all other transactions (B2B transactions, input taxes and local sales) must continue to be reported via local registrations in other EU countries, as the chart below illustrates.
- Make sure regularly that you do not report transactions twice (OSS and local registration) or not at all in case 3! This can happen quickly due to the additional complexity.
The last point in particular is still causing uncertainty.
Is it allowed to use OSS procedures and local registrations in parallel?
One stop shop and / or local registrations?
The relevant provision in the German VAT Act (§ 18j para. 1 p. 4 UStG), which regulates the One Stop Shop, states that it is mandatory to report all sales via the One Stop Shop or via local registrations.
So is there an either/or principle at work here?
This would mean that participants in the Amazon Pan EU programme - or other cross-border fulfilment structures - which also require local registrations would not be allowed to use the One Stop Shop.
At this point we can reassure you. This either-or principle only applies to distance sales if you read sentence 4 of § 18j (1) UStG very carefully.
§ 18j para. 1 sentence 4, 1st HS UStG: Participation in the special taxation procedure is only possible for the entrepreneur uniformly for all Member States of the European Union and all transactions according to sentence 1 (...).
By sales according to sentence 1 , the law means distance sales.
In this respect, a parallel structure of
- Messages about the One Stop Shop and
- local registrations
if all distance sales are reported via the One Stop Shop. The letter of the Federal Ministry of Finance dated 01.04.2021 also clarifies that a VAT registration in a member state of the EU in the standard taxation procedure does not prevent the application of the OSS procedure.
Important: As distance sales are always reported via the One Stop Shop in the country of residence, this also includes transactions such as: Delivery from a Amazon warehouse in Poland to a final consumer in France.
One question remains: How do I register for the One Stop Shop?
One Stop Shop Registration / Registration via BZSt and My BOP as of 01.04.2021
The introduction of the One Stop Shop procedure on 01.07.2021 for cross-border online trade in the EU has a comprehensive impact on the processes of online traders operating throughout the EU. Among other things, the system change to the One Stop Shop procedure also requires registration for participation in this procedure with the respective competent authority. This is because it is a special taxation procedure that must be distinguished from the regular taxation procedure. In Germany, this registration office is the Federal Central Tax Office (BZSt).
Note: Online traders can also be excluded from participation in the OSS procedure, for example if the relevant record-keeping obligations are not fulfilled. If an online trader has been excluded from the MOSS procedure in the past, it can be assumed that participation in the OSS procedure will also be denied by the competent authority.
The following reasons may lead to a refusal to participate in the OSS procedure or to an online trader being excluded again by the tax authorities:
- Failure to submit the necessary tax returns to the Bundeszentralamt für Steuern (Federal Central Tax Office) or failure to do so in good time
- Failure to comply with the recording obligations in connection with the OSS procedure or failure to provide the recorded data to the tax authorities on request, or failure to do so in good time.
Registration for the One Stop Shop does not take place directly via the BZSt website, but since 01.04.2021 online via a portal through which you can exchange data with the BZSt: My BOP.
A certificate file is required to log in. You should already have this if you are already a user of the ELSTER portal, which you can use, for example, to fill out and submit (sales) tax returns for your company.
The file has a .pfx extension, so you can easily search for it on your computer or in the cloud if you ever misplace it.
The next step is to look for the so-called registration notice for participation in the OSS EU scheme.
During the registration process, a number of information and master data are requested.
In the following, we will deal with two questions separately, as they cannot be answered unambiguously for everyone in the first step.
Issues with registration to the One Stop Shop: Information about supporting deliveries by providing an electronic interface.
The first cryptic question or information asked when registering for the One Stop Shop is the so-called information about supporting deliveries by providing an electronic interface.
Am I an electronic interface?
As far as you register as a dealer, you could click here: "No, it does not apply".
Providing an electronic interface means marketplaces - i.e. Amazon, eBay, Zalando & Co.
Background: As part of the reform on 1.7.2021, marketplaces will also be able to use the One Stop Shop for certain sales, so that Amazon & Co. can also register for it.
Issues with registration to the One Stop Shop: Permanent establishments of the company and other facilities for the delivery of goods.
The question of permanent establishments and other entities in other EU countries is a bit tricky.
Let's start with permanent establishments.
Fixed establishment: The term "fixed establishment" is defined uniformly throughout the EU - in Article 11 (2) of the VAT Regulation. According to this definition, a fixed establishment is any establishment, other than the seat of the economic activity, which has a sufficient degree of permanence and a structure which, in terms of personnel and technical equipment, allows it to provide services.
Are fulfilment centres of Amazon in other EU countries permanent establishments?
The answer is no!
Looking at the definition, it should be obvious that you can never provide services from a Amazon warehouse.
But what about the other facilities for delivering goods? That sounds more like a fulfillment center for Amazon, Zalando & Co.
You will get a corresponding clarification if you click on the question mark directly behind the sentence.
Other establishments: Other establishments for the supply of goods means establishments in other EU Member States attributable to the enterprise which are not fixed establishments and from which goods are transported or dispatched in the context of intra-Community distance sales, such as warehouses.
Since Amazon warehouses or fulfillment centers of Amazon are not attributable to you, this aspect should also not be relevant.
However, due to the importance of cross-border fulfilment systems by marketplaces, clarification by the tax authorities would be desirable at this point.
Confirmation of registration for the One Stop Shop procedure
After completing the registration procedure via the BZSt's My BOP portal, you will receive a registration confirmation containing the following text:
Dear Mr. Sample Man,
There is a new message for you in your My BOP Inbox.
Subject: Confirmation of submission of registration notification for participation in the OSS EU scheme (formerly Mini-One-Stop-Shop)
Sender: Federal Central Tax Office
Date: 04/01/2021, 17:10
You can find them at: https://www.elster.de/bportal/ to retrieve it.
Your user name is: Sample-xx
With best regards
Your Federal Central Tax Office
This is an automatically generated message, please do not reply to this sender. If you have any questions about My BOP or using ElsterAuthenticator, please search our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) first: https://www.elster.de/bportal/start?themaGlobal=help_bop or ask our info wizard: https://elias.elster.de/nmIQServer/index.html
If you do not find an answer to your question there, please contact our hotline.
For information on the processing of personal data in the tax administration and on your rights under the General Data Protection Regulation as well as on your contacts in data protection matters, please refer to the general information letter of the tax administration. You can find this information letter at www.finanzamt.de (under the heading "Data protection") or you can obtain it from your tax office.
If you are unable to click on the link in this e-mail, please copy it in its entirety into the address line of your browser and then press the Enter key.
The completed registration form can be viewed or downloaded under My Forms.
After the registration has been processed by the Federal Central Tax Office, the following confirmation will be sent:
The registration notification confirms participation in the OSS procedure from 01.07.2021. The first OSS notification must be submitted to the BZSt for the period July to September by 31 October. For all periods until 30.06.2021, the previously known deadlines apply.
CONCLUSION on One Stop Shop: Additional requirements for the Value Added Tax-obligations for most online traders
The law reform to 01.07.2021 is extensive and complex for you as an online merchant. Therefore, you can take the following key facts as a conclusion:
- Abolition of national supply thresholds and introduction of an EU-wide uniform turnover limit of 10,000 EURO net
- Tax liability in (almost) all EU states, even if only minor sales are made in individual countries
- Central reporting of distance sales via the OSS procedure in the country of domicile of the online trader(s) (no more local registrations necessary)
- Necessity of local registrations when participating in the Amazon PAN EU / CEE program or various fulfillment centers / warehouses
- Need for EU-wide determination of applicable tax rates for the entire product portfolio
- Design and establishment of additional VAT reporting processes necessary to map different transaction types (remote sales via OSS, ig. transfers / acquisitions via local registrations)
Taxdoo offers solutions
If you want to know more about how you can efficiently and securely map OSS obligations, Value Added Tax compliance, financial accounting and much more via a platform, then use this link to make an appointment for your individual and free initial consultation with the e-commerce and Value Added Tax experts from Taxdoo!
You are also welcome to register for one of our regular OSS webinars, where we will give you even more information about OSS and also present our compliance services, as well as answer your questions personally.
Taxdoo is the platform for automated and secure Value Added Taxprocesses
... and forms for the leading online retailers in Europe besides the handling of the current EU-wide Value Added Taxcompliance, Intrastat and financial accounting also offers numerous other compliance services via a unique platform.
Of course, from 7/2021 on we will be able to report your remote sales automatically and easily as never before via OSS.
FAQ: We answer the most frequently asked questions about the One Stop Shop
Question: How will the 10,000 euro limit be calculated - especially in 2021?
Answer: There are two parts to the answer.
- First things first: If you use even one warehouse in another EU country - e.g. within the scope of Amazon PAN EU or CEE - then you are generally liable to pay tax in this country regardless of the EUR 10,000 limit. However, distance sales from a Amazon PAN EU or CEE country to a private customer in another EU member state must be included in the 10,000 EUR limit.
- For all those who only send their goods from one EU state, the fact applies that the 10,000 euros are calculated on the entire calendar year. If you have already exceeded the limit in 2020 or in the first half of 2021, you will be liable to pay tax in every EU country to which you deliver even one parcel as of 1 July 2021. The corresponding clarification of the German tax authorities can be found here.
Section 3a.9a (1) sentence 1 number 1 sentence 2 Value Added Tax-Application Decree (UStAE): ... for the assessment of the place of performance in the taxable period 2021, the aforementioned other services and intra-Community distance sales that were performed in the calendar year 2020 and in the first half of 2021 are also to be included; a pro rata temporis allocation of the turnover threshold of 10,000 euros is not to be made in the calendar year 2021.
Note: The UStAE is not a law but binding for the tax authorities.
Question: Where can I find the different VAT rates of the EU member states?
Answer: You can find the VAT rates of the different member states on the website of the European Commission. However, this can only serve to give you an overview of the tax rates in the area Value Added Tax .
Question: Do sales to German customers also have to be reported to the Federal Central Tax Office under the OSS procedure?
Answer: Deliveries from a German online trader (warehouse in DE) to a German customer are not to be reported via the OSS procedure, but via the German advance VAT return in the standard procedure.
Question: An online trader has exceeded the delivery threshold to Austria and is registered there, which is why reports must be submitted there for at least the remaining and following calendar year. Does he/she consequently have to report all B2C distance sales from Germany in the OSS and report the Austrian sales until the end of his/her "mandatory reporting period" in Austria?
Answer: If he/she decides to participate in the OSS, it is mandatory that he/she reports all remote sales via the OSS. He/she then does not report anything via the local registration (except local sales in Austria, if there are any).
Question: Can local input tax from incoming invoices in other EU countries be claimed via the OSS procedure?
Answer: Local input taxes cannot be claimed via the OSS procedure. If there is an existing local registration, input taxes can be claimed via this, otherwise within the framework of the input tax refund procedure.
Question: When can registration for the OSS take place in other countries and where can registration take place?
Answer: According to the European Commission, registration in each Member State for the OSS procedure can take place since 01.04.2021. Registration always takes place in the respective country with the tax authority responsible for handling the OSS procedure. Registration for the OSS must always take place in the country of domicile of the online trader.
Question: How are the tax burdens paid for the different countries?
Answer: The tax burden is transferred collectively for all countries to a single point of contact. Entrepreneurs using the OSS in Germany transfer the Value Added Tax to the Federal Central Tax Office or to an account at the Federal Treasury.
Question: What has to be considered in connection with the OSS procedure if I, as an online trader, participate in the Amazon PAN-EU programme?
Answer: If you as a trader participate in the Amazon PAN-EU programme, you must note that VAT registration is still necessary in the countries where the warehouses are located (PL, CZ, ES, FR, IT), as only cross-border distance sales can be reported via the OSS. Transfers to warehouses must still be reported via the local registrations in the country of departure and the country of destination. This also applies to local deliveries within one of the aforementioned countries.
Question: What happens if the previous local delivery threshold in a country is not exceeded until June? Is registration then necessary for one month?
Answer: As soon as the "old" delivery threshold is exceeded, the delivery that resulted in the threshold being exceeded is already taxable in the country of destination. As the OSS procedure can only be used from July onwards, VAT registration must still be carried out in the respective country for the month of June.
Question: If the uniform delivery threshold of 10,000 euros has not been exceeded, must German Value Added Tax be shown on the invoice? As soon as the uniform delivery threshold of 10,000 euros has been exceeded, must the local tax of the respective country be shown on the invoice?
Answer: If the delivery threshold of 10,000 euros for distance sales and digital services has not been exceeded, the delivery/service is taxable in Germany and is therefore subject to the German Value Added Tax (19% or 7%). If the delivery threshold is exceeded, the sale is taxable in the country of receipt, i.e. the delivery is also subject to the tax rate applicable there. In principle, however, you do not need to issue an invoice if you participate in the OSS procedure. If you decide to issue an invoice, the invoicing rules of the Member State in which you are registered for the OSS procedure apply. Therefore, if you participate in the OSS procedure in Germany, you must comply with the German invoicing rules, which stipulate, among other things, that the tax amount must be shown on the invoice, even if it is foreign tax.
Question: I was asked for a BZSt number when registering for the One Stop Shop at My BOP. What is it and where do I get it?
Answer: There are basically 2 ways to log in to the "My BOP" portal.
1. Use of the certificate file from "My Elster": According to information from the BZSt, the certificate file from "My Elster" can also be used for registration via my BOP. For this purpose, the registration procedure must be followed as described in the following link, provided that no Elster certificate file exists yet: https://www.elster.de/eportal/registrierung-auswahl/hinweis2
2. Use of the "BZSt number": The BZSt number can be applied for at the BZSt. The registration process is described under the following link: https://www.bzst.de/DE/Unternehmen/Value Added Tax/One-Stop-Shop_NichtEU/ElektronischeDatenuebermittlung/datenuebermittlung_node.html#js-toc-entry1. Under the link one can also find the application form for the BZSt number.
If you already have an Elster certificate file, you should be able to log in directly with the certificate file under the following link without applying for a BZSt number: https://www.elster.de/bportal/login/softpse. Once you have registered there, look for the registration notice for participation in the OSS EU scheme. Here you should be able to register for the OSS procedure without the BZSt number.
Note: The FAQ will be extended continuously in the coming weeks.