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Recent Member’s Request – Request on VAT on distance sales

By February 22, 2016July 10th, 2021No Comments

Hans-Martin Grambeck currently sorted out the VAT registration issue of a German established distance seller in different member states of the EU. This requirement for those registrations is the result of two different facts …

The case:

Hans-Martin Grambeck currently sorted out the VAT registration issue of a German established distance seller in different member states of the EU. This requirement for those registrations is the result of two different facts:

  • The company makes use of FBA services (Fulfilment by Amazon) and accepted the offer of Amazon to store goods in several warehouses outside DE (i.e. in PL and CZ).
  • The delivery threshold has been exceeded in several member states and the revenues will further grow.

When pulling together the sales revenues to check whether or not the threshold for distance sellers is exceeded we have to decide how to calculate the total of sales to consumers in specific member states:

  • Alternative (a): It does not matter from which member state the goods are shipped to the final customer. Hence – as an example – if the sales to Austrian customers amount to 120.000 € in 2015 there is an obligation to VAT register in AT even if the goods have been shipped from CZ (60.000 €) and PL (60.000 €) warehouses of Amazon. This approach is reasonable from the perspective of Austria which is entitled to claim tax since the supplier has sold more than 100.000 € to Austrian customers.  
  • Alternative (b): It is taken into account from which states the goods are shipped. Hence – in the example above – a registration in AT would not yet be required since the supplier would still have to pay tax in PL and CZ as the sales to AT are below the threshold. The approach may be reasonable from the perspective of CZ and PL which generally have a right to tax those sales below the threshold unless the tax payer has opted to pay tax in AT.

The request:

  • Would your country potentially apply (or has issued clear guidance in that respect) alternative (a) or (b)?
  • Does your country allow an option to tax distance sales in the member state of consumption below the threshold with retrospective effect?

We received 14 replies from our members, representing 11 EU Member States. If you want to share your opinion on this case about your member state and still haven’t done so, please contact: info@VATassociation.org.

If you would like to receive the replies to this request please let us know at: info@VATassociation.org.