Operators of marketplaces on the Internet should remember an important change in the VAT Act from 1 January 2019. With the new regulation of Sections 22f, 25e UStG, they are to be liable for the VAT of the dealers using the platform in 10 days from the end of the day. Ebay and Amazon are, of course, at the forefront of this, but of course this also affects all other marketplaces.
The change is a response to the fact that there have been no effective means of combating VAT fraud in trade in goods on the Internet.
As an operator, data must be collected in the future (in compliance, of course, with the rules of the GDPR), in particular the complete address and registered office of the dealers, the shipping and delivery address and also their tax number (which in turn they are centrally controlled by the tax office). Neukölln).
Consideration should also be given to how and whether own GTC changes can ensure that marketplace operators do not remain alone on the risk in the future. This is probably also relevant because, for example, non-German dealers may well be at risk that they will not pay VAT due and that the marketplace operator will be liable for it in the future. Therefore, terms and conditions should be adjusted in order to legally bar traders who do not comply with tax obligations from using the platform. This is also urgently needed, because the tax office in Neukölln, which is now responsible for this, will inform operators about the non-compliance with the trader’s tax obligations. At the latest then, every operator should be able to react and – contractually – also react, because liability includes all sales taxes incurred after receipt of this information.
There is not much time left for these changes and I assume that many platform operators have not yet heard of the changes!