If you supply electronic products (telecommunications, broadcasting and e-services) to non-business customers through online sales, you should start thinking about how you will comply with the new VAT ‘place of supply’ rules that came into force on 1 January 2015. The rules apply to sales within the EU, where different rates of output VAT apply.
In simple terms, such sales will now carry VAT at the rate applicable to the country in which the customer is located. So, the sale of a web-based product to a customer in France will carry VAT at 19.6 per cent and that VAT will need to be remitted to the French tax authorities.
For VAT purposes, a customer ‘belongs’ in the country in which they have a permanent address or usually live.
HM Revenue and Customs has created a ‘Mini One-Stop Shop’ (MOSS) service, to assist UK businesses by collecting the VAT they charge on sales in all EU jurisdictions and remitting it for the taxpayer to the appropriate national tax authorities.
Businesses that make intra-EU B2C supplies of telecommunications, broadcasting and e-services which do not avail themselves of the MOSS facility are required to register and account for VAT in every member state in which they have customers.