Understanding VAT moss for online & distance selling

Wherever she is located on earth, if a company has customers coming from a country from the European Union, it has to gather and remit VAT after selling for a certain value of digital goods.

For instance, if a company from Belize sells Ebooks to french customers, it does not need to gather and remit VAT to France as long as the 35000 euros threshold is reached during a calendar year. There is a different threshold for every country.

Then, if the 35000 euros are reached, the Belize company has to register at a VAT moss web portal from one EU country (example: Ireland, Spain, France, Germany, Italy…), report the VAT and pay the VAT through a wire transfer.

The VAT moss counts 28 entries for the 28 countries of the EU, since the Belize company does not sell anything to Estonia (which is part of the EU), there will be no numbers for the fields for Estonia.

For other EU countries, as long as the Belize company stay under the threshold of the country, it does not need to report the VAT.

Understanding the legislation behind the VAT moss:

In fact, the VAT moss is just a portal to facilitate the remittance of VAT to the right country. The European Union is not a legal jurisdiction. Every EU country has its own law about VAT. Consequently, when you use the VAT moss, you are not in compliance with the European Union law but the law of your customer jurisdiction.

In the case of France, description of the VAT law is located at the “Code général des impôts”, available here. You can open it in google chrome for translation. Every EU jurisdiction (Germany, Ireland, Spain…) has a similar legislation but with different threshold. Here is also the webpage for VAT and distance selling at the Irish Revenue website.

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