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Telecommunications, broadcasting & electronic services

Rules applicable since 2015

From 1 January 2015, telecommunications, broadcasting and electronic services are always taxed in the country where the customer belongs* – regardless of whether the customer is a business or consumer – and regardless of whether the supplier is based in the EU or outside

* For a business (taxable person) = either the country where it is registered or the country where it has fixed premises receiving the service.

* For a consumer (non-taxable person) = the country where they are registered, have their permanent address or usually live.

For the definition of 'electronic services' see the Explanatory Notes below, in particular under points 1.3; 2.3.3; and 2.4.3.

 

The effects of this are as follows:

EU BUSINESSES supplying to:

Business in another EU country

No VAT charged. Customer must account for the tax (reverse-charge mechanism).

Consumer in another EU country

Must charge VAT in the EU country where the customer belongs (not where the business is based).

Example A Polish customer downloading an App on his mobile phone from a Finnish supplier. The Finnish company must charge the customer Polish VAT. MOSS available

Business or consumer outside the EU

No EU VAT charged.

Example A Hungarian company sells an anti-virus program to be downloaded through its website to businesses or private individuals in Australia. NO VAT But if the service is effectively used & enjoyed in an EU country, that country can decide to levy VAT (option for Member States).

 

NON-EU BUSINESSES supplying to:

Business in the EU

No VAT charged. Customer must account for the tax (reverse-charge mechanism).

Consumer in the EU (telecoms, broadcasting or electronic services)

Must charge VAT in the EU country where the customer belongs.

Example A person living in Barcelona pays a US company for access to American TV channels. The US company must charge the customer Spanish VAT. MOSS available

Summary of rules since 2015
Telecommunications, broadcasting & electronic services

Services supplied by/to

EU consumer in EU country 1

EU consumer in EU country 2

Non-EU consumer(2)

EU supplier (EU country 1)

Taxable in EU country 1

Taxable in EU country 2(1)

No EU VAT

EU supplier (EU country 2)

Taxable in EU country 1(1)

Taxable in EU country 2

No EU VAT

Non-EU supplier

Taxable in EU country 1(1)

Taxable in EU country 2(1)

No EU VAT

(1) One-time registration (MOSS) available.
(2) Unless used in a country that applies the effective use & enjoyment rules.

The one-time registration scheme (MOSS) since 2015

Online declaration/payment For supplies to consumers, both EU and non-EU businesses can use a web portal in the EU country where they are VAT-registered to declare and pay the VAT due in their customer's EU country.

Basic Information for micro businesses

Basic information for micro businesses supplying electronic servicespdf

 

Questions & Answers

VAT changes from 2015

 

The Explanatory Notes on the place of supply of telecommunication, broadcasting and electronic services as from 2015

The Explanatory notespdf Choose translations of the previous link  have been prepared in order to provide a better understanding of the EU legislation relating to the place of supply of telecommunications, broadcasting and electronic services. These notes are not legally binding and only provide practical and informal guidance about how EU law should be understood and applied on the basis of the views of the Commission's Directorate General for Taxation and Customs Union. It is the product of collaborative work between the Directorate General for Taxation and Customs Union, Member States and businesses. These notes are a work in progress: it is not a final product, but it reflects the state of play at a certain point in time in accordance with the knowledge and experience available. Over time, it is expected that additional elements may be needed.

In 2015 the one-time registration scheme (mini one-stop shop) is:
  • extended to telecommunications and broadcasting and
  • made available to EU businesses too

 

One Stop Shop and Audit guidelines for 2015

A practical guidepdf Choose translations of the previous link  has been prepared in order to provide a better understanding of EU legislation relating to the mini One Stop Shop, as well as of the functional and technical specifications of the special schemes, as adopted by the Standing Committee on Administrative Cooperation (SCAC).

This guide is complemented by additional guidelines pdf Choose translations of the previous link  (available in all EU official languages, Russian, Chinese -and Japanese) on the audit of the mini One Stop Shop and IT-informationzip related to a suggested standard audit file for MOSS (mentioned in the additional guidelines under d)).

This guide and the additional guidelines on the audit of the mini One Stop Shop are not legally binding and only provide practical and informal guidance about how EU law and EU specifications are to be applied on the basis of the views of the Commission's Directorate General for Taxation and Customs Union.

These guidelines are the result of collaborative work between the Directorate General for Taxation and Customs Union and Member States.

These guides are work in progress: it is not a final product, but it reflects the state of play at a certain point in time in accordance with the knowledge and experience available. Over time, it is expected that additional elements may be needed.

 

Information on selected national VAT rules, including VAT rates and contact points

Information on national rules applied in Member States for the use of the mini one-stop shop (MOSS) can be found in this report. Definitions and explanations on the scope of the report can be found in the overviewpdf, which also includes a summary table of applicable VAT rates, as well as information on use and enjoyment rules, and B2C invoicing obligations across Member States. However the Commission cannot guarantee that all the information contained in the report is in conformity with European law.

National reports

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Be informed when a new report is available: Register to the alert "MOSS Reports Updates"


Previous reports

01.04.2016 : Report - Overviewpdf

01.10.2015: Report - Overviewpdf

01.01.2016: Report - Overviewpdf

Additionally the Tax Information Communication database (TIC) provides information on (1) invoicing rules in EU countries, (2) VAT refunds – information requirements in the EU country of refund (3) VAT Rates in EU Countries.

 

Other information

Online presentation on 2015 changes

Applicable legislation

Council Directive 2008/8/EC – place of supply of services (see Article 5)

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No 1042/2013 – place of supply of services pdf

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No 967/2012 – obligations under the one-time registration scheme (MOSS) pdf

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 815/2012 - standardised information for registrations and returns

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