New EU VAT rules in relation to supplies of telecommunications, broadcasting and e-services (TBE) to consumers (B2C) will come into effect from 1 January 2015. From that date, businesses that make supplies of telecommunications, broadcasting or e-services to consumers in other EU Member States are obliged to register and account for VAT in those Member States. Alternatively, such businesses can now register for the optional special scheme, Mini One Stop Shop (MOSS). The MOSS will allow businesses to submit a single return and payment per calendar quarter for all Member States in which it makes such supplies.
Any eligible business wishing to register for MOSS should do so in advance of 1 January 2015 to avoid having to register for VAT in multiple Member States.
The guidance already issued in relation to the Mini One Stop Shop (MOSS) has been updated to clarify the following issues.
Can a business established in Ireland whose turnover is below the VAT registration threshold use MOSS?
The VAT registration thresholds that Member States apply to small business do not apply to businesses that are not established in the Member State.
A business which is established in Ireland but is not obliged to register for VAT in Ireland (because turnover is below the registration threshold) and which supplies telecommunications, broadcasting or e-services to consumers in other Member States will be obliged to register and account for VAT in those Member States or, alternatively, register for MOSS in Ireland.
Such businesses can register for MOSS without any obligation to register for VAT in respect of their supplies to customers in Ireland. When completing the MOSS registration process, the Corporation Tax Number or PPS Number (as appropriate) of the applicant should be provided as an alternative to a VAT number. Any queries in relation to the registration process should be addressed to the MOSS helpdesk.
VAT Groups and MOSS Registration
A VAT Group can register for MOSS. Any member of an existing VAT group can apply to register for MOSS. It is not obligatory that the Group ‘remitter’ is the group member to register for MOSS.
Standard Audit File for MOSS (SAF-MOSS)
The record keeping requirements in relation to MOSS are set out in Chapters 9 and 10 of the Mini One Stop Shop guide. The EU Commission undertook to develop a Standard Audit file for MOSS (SAF-MOSS) with a view to providing certainty for business in relation to record keeping and to facilitate the provision of information to tax administrations. The SAF-MOSS Schema specifications have now been published and business can use this schema for submitting the information requested by Member States in a specified electronic format that is acceptable to most tax administrations. The SAF-MOSS is recommended for business to use but it is not compulsory. If a business does not wish to use the SAF-MOSS to submit information requested by a tax administration, an acceptable alternative format must be agreed at the time of the request.
Information in relation to Member States national VAT rules
From 1 January 2015 the tax treatment of B2C supplies of telecommunications, broadcasting and e-services will be determined by the rules of the Member State of consumption.
The VAT Directive (Council Directive 2006/112/EC) provides common VAT rules for all Member States but it allows Member States to avail of certain options and the interpretation of the VAT Directive may vary in some instances. To assist businesses who will be impacted by the new place of supply rules from 1 January 2015, the EU Commission have developed a portal which provides information on VAT rules in all Member States and is complemented by instructions for use.