1. Who can register for the mini One Stop Shop ?
Any taxable person who makes supplies of telecommunications, broadcasting or electronically supplied services to non-taxable persons in a Member State where that taxable person has no establishment can register for the mini One Stop Shop.
Two schemes are available:
Union scheme – A taxable person can register to use the mini One Stop Shop if that person has its place of business in the EU, or, if it does not have its place of business in the EU, has a fixed establishment in the EU.
Non-Union scheme – A non-EU taxable person can register to use the mini One Stop Shop if it has not established its business in the EU and it has no fixed establishment there.
This means that a non-EU taxable person which is registered for VAT purposes, or is required to be registered for VAT purposes in the EU but has no establishment there
can use the non-Union scheme. However, that taxable person cannot use the Union scheme (because it has no establishment in the EU).
2. How to register for the mini One Stop Shop in the Member State of identification?
In order to register for the mini One Stop Shop, the taxable person is required to provide certain information to the Member State of identification. Member States are free to choose precisely how they collect this information from the taxable person, but it must be provided electronically. In practice, Member States will provide a web portal for the submission of this information.
The information will differ depending on whether the taxable person is registering to use the Union scheme or the non-Union scheme. It is important to note that, for the Union scheme, as the taxable person is already registered for VAT in the Member State of identification for its domestic supplies, that Member State may already have much of the required information.
Once the Member State of identification has received and validated the required registration details (see question 3 below), these are stored in its database and forwarded to the other Member States. A taxable person using the non-Union scheme will, at this point, receive an individual VAT identification number from the Member State of identification.
The registration information which Member States will forward to each other is contained in Annex 1 of Regulation EU 815/2012. As can be seen, there are certain elements which are common to both schemes, such as company name, trading name, full postal address etc. There are also elements which are relevant only for the Union scheme, such as VAT identification numbers of fixed establishments outside the Member State of identification, and there are elements which are only relevant to the non-Union scheme, such as a declaration that the taxable person does not have an establishment within the European Union.
3. Does the Member State of identification carry out any checks on the registration details?
The Member State of identification will carry out certain checks on the registration information provided to ensure that the taxable person meets the conditions for using the scheme. It will, at minimum, check whether the taxable person is already registered for the mini One Stop Shop in another Member State, or whether the quarantine periods (see the section on deregistration) are still in effect.
As a result of these checks, the Member State of identification may refuse registration into the mini One Stop Shop. The taxable person has recourse to the national procedures in appealing against this decision.
4. Will the taxable person be allocated an individual VAT identification number?
Under the Union scheme, the individual VAT registration number is the same as that which is already allocated to the taxable person by the Member State of identification for domestic supplies. A taxable person cannot register for the Union scheme without this number.
Under the non-Union scheme, the Member State of identification will allocate the taxable person with an individual VAT identification number (using the format EUxxxyyyyyz).
5. When will the registration take effect?
In a normal situation, the registration will take effect from the first day of the calendar quarter following that in which the taxable person informs the Member State of identification that it wishes to start using the scheme. So, as an example, if, on the 15th February 2016, a taxable person informs the Member State of identification that it wishes to commence using the scheme, and it provides the required information, the taxable person will be able to use the mini One Stop Shop for supplies made on or after the 1st April 2016.
However, there may be situations in which the taxable person starts making supplies under the scheme before this date. If this is the case, the scheme will start from the date of that first supply, provided the taxable person has informed the Member State of identification that it has commenced activities under the scheme by the tenth day of the month following that first supply. This deadline also applies to any amendment to the registration details where the taxable person has already informed the Member State of identification that it wishes to start from the beginning of the next quarter, but actually starts making supplies before that date. If the taxable person fails to meet this deadline, it is required to register and account for the VAT in the Member State(s) where his customer is located.
As an example, the taxable person above makes the first supply to a non-taxable person on the 1st March. As long as the Member State of identification is informed of this by the 10th April, the taxable person will have joined the special scheme as from the 1st March, and all subsequent supplies will be covered by that special scheme. This applies for both the Union scheme, and the non-Union scheme.
The registration information contains three box numbers which relate to the date of registration. This is included in the registration information which the Member State of identification will send to the other Member States:
• Box 17: Date of commencement of using the scheme;
This is the date when the taxable person starts using the scheme.
• Box 18: Date of request to be registered under the scheme by the taxable person;
This is the date on which the taxable person informs the Member State of identification that it wishes to start using the scheme, and the required information is sent. In practice, it is the date the taxable person provides all the required registration details on the web portal.
• Box 19: Date of registration decision by the Member State of identification.
This is the date on which the Member State of identification, having checked that the information provided by the taxable person is valid, makes the decision to register the taxable person for the mini One Stop Shop.
The Member State of identification will confirm to the taxable person the date of registration decision by electronic means (this could possibly be on the mini One Stop Shop web portal).
6. What if a taxable person has fixed establishments in other Member States?
If a taxable person using the Union scheme has any fixed establishments outside the Member State of identification, the mini One Stop Shop registration details have to include the VAT identification number or tax reference number, and name and address of each of these fixed establishments in other Member States. This is required irrespective of whether or not the fixed establishment will carry out supplies of telecommunications, broadcasting or electronically supplied services. The requirements for this information can be found in Boxes 13.1 and 14.1 of Annex 2.
In addition, under the Union scheme, if a taxable person is registered for VAT in another Member State but is not established in that Member State (for example, because they are required to register for their distance sales of goods), that VAT identification number must be included in the mini One Stop Shop registration details (Box 15.1 of registration information).
If the taxable person has an establishment of any kind within the EU, he cannot use the non-Union scheme.
7. Can a taxable person make amendments to registration information?
The taxable person is legally obliged to inform the Member State of identification of changes to the registration information, at the latest the 10th day of the month following the change.
Amendments can be made to certain elements of the registration information, such as addresses, email addresses, contact details, list of fixed establishments, list of VAT identification numbers in other Member States etc., but the individual VAT identification number cannot be amended. Member States will define precisely how and what amendments to registration details can be made.
8. What happens to these amendments?
The registration information, including any amendments made to this information, is stored in a database of the Member State of identification. All Member States will, on request, have access to this information.
9. How is a VAT group treated?
Whilst it is acknowledged that Member States legislate for VAT groups domestically in different ways, as a practical solution for the particular circumstances of the mini One Stop Shop, a VAT group shall be treated in the following way:
• A VAT group can use the mini One Stop Shop, but when it registers, it must indicate that it is a VAT group using Box 20 of the registration information;
• A VAT group registers under the VAT identification number with which it is registered for its domestic supplies; where separate numbers are given at a domestic level to group members, a single number should be allocated to the VAT group at least to be used for the mini One Stop Shop registration.
• If a member of the VAT group has, or will have, a fixed establishment in another Member State, the ties with that fixed establishment are broken for mini One Stop Shop registration purposes, and the supplies from that fixed establishment cannot be declared on the mini One Stop Shop VAT return of the VAT group.
• Similarly, supplies from the VAT group to the Member State of that fixed establishment shall be declared via the mini One Stop Shop VAT return, and not via the domestic VAT return of that fixed establishment.
• Therefore a VAT group cannot include any fixed establishments in other Member States in its mini One Stop Shop registration.
10. What happens in case of voluntary change of Member State of identification in cases where there is no change in the location of the business establishment or establishment(s)
A taxable person using the Union scheme may change his Member State of identification by choosing a different Member State where he has a fixed establishment, provided he still does not have his business established in the EU. In this case, the taxable person is bound to this decision for the calendar year concerned and the two calendar years following (see paragraph 2 of Article 369a of the VAT Directive). A taxable person making use of the non-Union scheme can change his Member State of identification at any time without a corresponding blocking period. In any case, this is a voluntary deregistration followed by registration. The taxable person therefore needs to get deregistered in the old Member State of identification and follow the registration procedure in the new Member State of identification according to the normal rules.