VAT and international transactions

Last July 2nd YouthProAktiv participated in the online event organized by the Spanish Chamber of Commerce on VAT and international transactions. The event counted with the view of Fernando Matesanz (Manager Director at Spanish VAT Services), who gave some notes on the simplification measures for VAT on intra EU transactions in addition to VAT in e-commerce transactions and the new VAT rules for e-commerce transactions as of July 2021.

To start with, an introduction on Directive 2018/1910 was given, featuring four short term “quick fixes” aimed at achieving the harmonization of certain rules referring to the intra EU trade of goods, more specific, to the call-off stocks, chain transactions, VAT identification number and finally the proof of intra EU supplies. To simplify the call-off stocks, which are structures very commonly used by companies involved in international trade of goods, the first “quick fix” allows the supplier to make an exempt intra-EU supply of goods and also allows the customer to perform a taxable intra-EU acquisition of goods with a time limit of 12 months.

The second “quick fix” was addressed to clarify where is the EU supply when performing chain transactions. Hence, now article 36a of the VAT Directive forces the intermediary operator to communicate to his supplier the VAT identification number issued to him by the Member State from which the goods are dispatched or transported.

The third “quick fix” based on article 138 of the VAT Directive allows to exempt the charge of VAT on the sale if the taxable person or non-taxable person for whom the supply is made is identified for VAT purposes in a Member State other than that in which dispatch or transport of the goods begins and has indicated this VAT identification number to the supplier.

The fourth “quick fix” stablish that in order to benefit from the exemption of article 138 of the VAT Directive, a consistent proof of transport issued by two different and independent parties will be needed.

Continuing with e-commerce modifications, now VAT on cross-border supplies of e-services under 10.000€ per year will be handled according to the rules of the country of the supplier of the services. In addition, the place of supply will be the Member State of dispatch unless a certain threshold per country is exceeded, hence in that case the place of supply will be the country of destination.

Afterwards, Fernando presented the new VAT rules for e-commerce transactions as of July 2021, which distinguish between “intra community distance sales of goods” and “distance sales of goods imported from third territories or third countries”, in addition to update the regulation on OSS and IOSS.

Finally, Fernando also remarked the introduction of article 14ª (2), which contents a deeming provision for digital platforms, which should collect VAT from sellers and send it to the Tax Authority irrespective of the country of establishment of the platform.