E-commerce: new vat regime for entities who make online sales to final consumers in other countries EU (One Stop Shop)

INTRODUCTION 

The Legislative Decree n. 83/2021 has been published on June 15th, 2021 on the Official Gazette. This decree has implemented in Italy Articles 2 and 3 of Directive (EU) 2017/2455 of December 5, 2017 about value added tax applicable to supply of services and distance sales of goods. 

The relevant European legislation is part of the so-called “e-commerce” package, which aims to simplify value added tax (VAT) obligations for businesses engaged in cross-border e-commerce. 

Among the most significant changes, the text of the decree introduces effective from 1st July 2021

  • a single threshold of a total of 10,000 euros within which distance sales of goods are taxed in the country of origin of the products. The threshold is to be understood as including all intra-Community distance sales of goods and all TTE services (telecommunications, broadcasting and electronic services) carried out in all Member States other than that in which the supplier is established in favor of customers who are not taxable persons. If this limit is exceeded during the course of the year, the rule of taxation at destination is applied (with compulsory VAT identification in the country of destination of the goods/services); 
  • the transformation of the MOSS (Mini One Stop Shop) regime into OSS (One Stop Shop). As a result of this change, the special regime currently envisaged for taxable persons providing TTE services to private consumers is now extended to all types of services, as well as intra-community distance sales of goods and certain internal sales of goods facilitated by electronic platforms. 

By accessing the new special OSS scheme, economic operators who carry out intra-Community distance sales of goods and services to non-taxable persons will now be able to register in a single Member State in order to fulfil the obligations connected with the payment of VAT for supplies made in each of the other Member States, thus avoiding having to register for VAT purposes in each Member State of destination of the goods.

THE SPECIAL OSS REGIME 

The OSS regime may be applied for the purposes of fulfilling VAT obligations for the following types of transactions: 

  • intra-Community distance sales of goods, including those facilitated by electronic interfaces; 
  • the supply of goods facilitated by electronic interfaces, with dispatch or transport departing and arriving in the territory of the State, carried out by taxable persons not established in the EU
  • services rendered in other Member States to non-taxable customers. 

Intra-Community distance sales of goods means the supply of goods dispatched or transported by the supplier or on his behalf, even when the supplier intervenes indirectly in the transport or dispatch of the goods, from a Member State other than that in which the dispatch or transport to the destination of the purchaser arrives. The shipment or transportation must be to the destination: 

  • of individuals who are not taxable persons; 
  • international organizations and diplomatic or consular offices in whose regard non-taxable transactions are carried out; 
  • with the exclusion of goods subject to excise duty, to transferees, both taxable and non-taxable, who are not required to apply the tax on intra-Community purchases and who have not opted for its application. 

The OSS regime may be accessed in order to fulfil VAT obligations in Italy relating to all of the above transactions: 

  • taxable persons domiciled in the territory of the State, or resident therein who have not established their domicile abroad, identified in Italy; 
  • taxable persons domiciled or resident outside the EU who have a permanent establishment in Italy; 
  • taxable persons domiciled or resident outside the EU, without a permanent establishment in the EU, who dispatch or transport goods from Italy. 

Registration to the OSS must be carried out through the web portal set up by each of the Member States, entering the data requested therein (in Italy it is sufficient to connect to the website www.agenziaentrate.gov.it and access the Fisconline/Entratel services). Once the State of identification has ascertained the validity of the data entered, the same will be forwarded to the other States belonging to the EU.

EFFECTS 

Taxable persons who access the OSS scheme are exempt (i) from VAT registration obligations, via the appointment of a fiscal representative or direct identification, in the EU country where consumption of the goods and/or services takes place, and (ii) from the obligations of issuing invoices, keeping VAT registers, submitting the Periodic Settlement Report and the annual VAT return for all transactions covered by the scheme. There is, therefore, an immediate saving in terms of both costs and administrative formalities deriving from access to the aforementioned regime. 

These subjects will instead be required to submit, through the portal made available by the Revenue Office, a quarterly declaration by the end of the month following each quarter and to keep suitable documentation of the transactions carried out until the end of the tenth year following that in which they were carried out. 

The option for the special OSS regime therefore entails that the tax relating to the supplies falling under the aforementioned regime is declared and paid via the OSS portal of the Revenue Agency, indicating for each Member State of destination of the goods the data relating to the taxable amount and the corresponding tax. 

Author(s)

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