Previously, I wrote about the heavy administrative burden that web shops had to deal with when selling goods under the then current distance selling rules for VAT. Fortunately, the EU legislator realised that this situation was no longer tenable and therefore introduced the One Stop Shop (OSS) return almost a year ago. Let’s see whether the EU legislator has succeeded under the famous Dutch HMRC slogan: ‘We can’t make it more fun, we can make it easier’.

Ready to hand out red pencils like in school and see what’s good about the scheme and where the pitfalls are, dear entrepreneur? I can’t possibly be complete in a blog article, so I’ve grabbed some useful things from the scheme to review. On schools in Holland we use the scale: 1 (very bad) – 10 (very good).

‘But easier’

For an online shop with only a warehouse in the Netherlands, it has certainly become easier and good progress has been made. I give the EU legislator an 8 in this area.

Also so easy for a warehouse abroad?

‘Not easier’
(vigilance is required, dear businessman)

Local sales
Local sales cannot be declared in the OSS declaration. Web shops that have goods stored, for example, in Italy and make deliveries from this warehouse to Italy must register with the Italian Tax Office and must comply with their VAT obligations under Italian law.

A slice of pizza is quite tasty now and again, but I do not speak the Italian language. I give the EU legislator a 1 for this regulation.

Keep the red pen for a while and move on to a report mark for the retention obligation and the AVG?

The retention obligation for financial records is 10 years instead of the usual 7 years in the Netherlands.

A blog article should appeal to a broad audience and therefore a nice legal piece for the grey suits lawyers regarding OSS and AVG. Among other things, the EU legislator has indicated the following with regard to the AVG under point 12 of the preamble to the Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/2026:

As the name of the customer must only be kept in the records of a taxable person making use of a special scheme if available to that taxable person, is not needed to determine the Member State in which the supply is subject to VAT and may raise data protection issues, it is no longer necessary to include the name of the customer in the records to be kept by taxable persons making use of a special scheme. However, to facilitate the control of supplies of goods covered by a special scheme, it is necessary to include information on returns of goods and consignment or transaction numbers amongst the information to be kept by taxable persons.

Cybercrime is an increasingly important risk and, despite this difficult to read document, we therefore give this scheme an 8.5.

Is it difficult to sign up?

Timely registration for new web shops
New web shops that want to use the OSS declaration (scheme is not compulsory) must register for the OSS declaration by the 10th day of the month following the first delivery of goods. Not registered in time? Too bad and go get your French in a hurry if you have had sales with French VAT. You have to comply with your VAT obligations under French law and register with the French Tax Administration. If it is any consolation, Paris is beautiful. I give the EU legislator a 6 in this area. It may be that by applying the threshold amount, no registration is required after all. This will have to be assessed specifically and therefore falls outside the scope of this article.

Back to the famous Dutch slogan
On average I am sitting on a 5.9 and the EU legislator has just passed the slogan: we cannot make it more fun, we can make it easier’.

Questions? Get in touch!

Do you have any questions on this topic or are you at a loss about the OSS declaration? Feel free to contact me or one of the other AAme advisors. We would like to know what grade you give our service!

Joep Tegelaar

J.A. (Joep) Tegelaar

Assistant Accountant (mo. to fr.)

+31 (0)15 820 00 51

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