Taxation and customs union

Telecommunications, broadcasting & electronic services

Rules applicable until the end of 2014
Preparing for the change
Report on feasibility of new rules 2015
Events related to the new rules

Rules applicable until the end of 2014
Supplies into or from the EU

Type of service transaction

VAT payable in ("place of supply")

Telecoms/broadcast/electronic services from:

  • outside the EU to a customer in the EU or
  • inside the EU to a customer outside the EU

Country where customer belongs (has their main business or fixed premises, their permanent address or usually lives). In some cases, subject to a 'use and enjoyment' override

The effects of this are as follows:
EU BUSINESSES supplying to:

Business or consumer outside the EU

Usually no EU VAT charged. But if the service is effectively used & enjoyed in an EU country, that country can decide to levy VAT.

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 or broadcasting services

Must charge VAT in the EU country where the service is effectively used and enjoyed.

Consumer in the EU - electronic services

Must charge VAT in the EU country where that consumer belongs (is registered, has their permanent address or usually lives)

Supplies between EU countries

Type of service transaction

VAT payable in ("place of supply")

Telecoms/broadcast/electronic services supplied within the EU

B2B – EU country where the customer belongs B2C – EU country where the supplier belongs

Sales to final consumers – overview

RULES until 31/12/2014 Telecommunications, broadcasting & electronic services (1)

Services supplied by/to

EU consumer in EU country 1

EU consumer in EU country 2

Non-EU consumer(3)

EU supplier (EU country 1)

Taxable in EU country 1

Taxable in EU country 1

No EU VAT

EU supplier (EU country 2)

Taxable in EU country 2

Taxable in EU country 2

No EU VAT

Non-EU supplier

Taxable in EU country 1(2)

Taxable in EU country 2(2)

No EU VAT

(1) One-time registration (MOSS) available for electronic services.
(2) Taxable in country of effective use & enjoyment, if this is not the country where the customer belongs.
(3) Unless used in a country that applies the effective use & enjoyment rules.

Preparing for the change

Report on feasibility of new rules 2015

The European Commission published a report to the Council on the feasibility of applying the new VAT rules for telecom, broadcasting and electronic services as of January 2015. The report describes the action taken in the last six years to prepare the implementation of the new rules, ensure legal certainty and facilitate business compliance.

Events related to the new rules

Other information
Communication activities of Member States on 2015 VAT changes