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Distance selling and VAT

Mail order and VAT registration

Distance selling: What VAT rules are applied?

Distance selling is subject to many VAT regulations. Companies dealing with this activity are obliged to strictly comply with them.

In terms of VAT, online sale means that companies being VAT payers carry out intra-Community deliveries to private individuals (B2C) or companies not registered for VAT. This term should not be confused with an intra-Community shipment exempted from VAT, which concerns transactions between companies (B2B).

Note! The system of remote sales does not apply to new means of transport or products subject to excise duty where sale is intended for exempt persons (alcohol, alcoholic beverages, mineral oils, tobacco products). These are governed by separate regulations on excise duty.

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What does the distance selling system involve?

In terms of tax regulations, the distance selling system determines the place of taxation of a given transaction, depending on the level of sales turnover.

If the value of distance selling generated by a company that is a VAT payer does not exceed the threshold set out in the target country, the operation is subject to taxation in the country in which its registered office is located. Otherwise, the operation is subject to taxation in the country in which the sales take place, compelling such a company to register for VAT purposes and to submit VAT declarations in that country.

The distance selling threshold corresponds to net sales turnover generated by the seller in the target country. The distance selling threshold may vary across countries. Each Member State defines its own threshold.

Example of a distance selling situation

A Polish company sells products on its website intended for private individuals in Belgium. In 2016, the company generated a net turnover of € 20,000 in Belgium. The sales were subject to Polish VAT. In May 2017, the company exceeded the remote sales threshold applicable in Belgium, i.e. € 35,000. Starting from that date, the company has 30 days to register for VAT purposes in Belgium, and then to tax the sale transactions with Belgian VAT and submit a tax declaration in Belgium.

Distance selling, VAT and e-commerce
1. What VAT rules are applied? 2. Online sale system 3. Distance selling thresholds 4. Registration for VAT purposes 5. Why is Eurofiscalis worth choosing 6. Ask for a free-of-charge estimate

Distance selling thresholds

A company should take into account the total value of annual net turnover from sale to private individuals and companies not registered for VAT within one Member State, in Euro, during the previous calendar year or the current year.

Member StateVAT threshold for remote sale
Germany100 000 €
Austria35 000 €
Belgium35 000 €
Bulgaria70 000 BNG (35 791 €)
Cyprus35 000 €
Croatia270 000 HRK (36 291 €)
Denmark280 000 DKK (37 595 €)
Spain35 000 €
Estonia35 000 €
Finland35 000 €
France35 000 €
Greece35 000 €
Hungary35 000 €
Ireland35 000 €
Italy35 000 €
Latvia35 000 €
Lithuania35 000 €
Luxembourg100 000 €
Malta35 000 €
The Netherlands100 000 €
Poland160 000 PLN (37 859 €)
Portugal35 000 €
Czech Republic1 140 000 CZK (44 873 €)
Romania118 000 RON (25 305 €)
Great Britain70 000 GBP (80 197 €)
Slovakia35 000 €
Slovenia35 000 €
Sweden320 000 SEK (31 390 €)
Table updated in April 2018 in accordance with official information from the European Union

Registration for VAT purposes and distance selling: what is the procedure?

Have you exceeded the distance selling threshold in one of the EU Member States? To register for VAT purposes in another Member State of the European Union, you may take advantage of a tax representative or tax agent that will deal with any and all administrative formalities. On your behalf, he or she will perform VAT registration in the country in which the threshold has been exceeded and then will submit VAT declarations. Here are the four main tasks of a tax representative and tax agent:

  • 1. Completing information and analysing the tax situation

  • 2. Registration and obtaining a VAT number

  • 3. Verification and processing of invoices

  • 4. Submitting VAT and Intrastat declarations

Distance selling is at present one of the most popular sales channels. Therefore, each day we provide services to many clients who need assistance in the area of VAT.

Each client is assisted by a VAT expert, who firstly analyses the entire flow of goods and invoices in order to define all reporting obligations, followed by VAT registration on this basis. The second stage involves in-depth verification of tax documents in order to make sure that they are consistent and correct. Last but not least, VAT and Intrastat declarations are submitted within the specified time frame and at the relevant office.

The documents are processed with the use of secure tools, which is why cooperation goes smoothly. Should you have any questions regarding our services or you would like to obtain an estimate, do not hesitate to contact us using the contact form. Our expert will contact you and ensure a free-of-charge consultation.

Why is it worth choosing Eurofiscalis as tax representative or tax agent?

Eurofiscalis is an international tax company specialising in tax representation. Our experts (statutory auditors, accountants, lawyers) speak 3 languages and will take care of all tax obligations on behalf of your company. European tax law is a critical issue in a company’s development on the international arena, which is why we establish long-term relations based on trust.

💡 The Eurofiscalis Group is a team of tax experts and enthusiasts. The satisfaction and contentment of our clients is what matters most to us. We support your foreign business, allowing you to overcome administrative and language barriers. Read “About us” to find out more about our group!

Our services as tax representative and tax agent throughout the European Union include:

  • Registration for VAT purposes
  • Verification of invoices and transactions 
  • Simplified accounting
  • Submission of VAT declaration
  • Submission of intra-Community declaration 
  • Submission of “Control Statement”
  • Submission of summary annual declarations
  • Submission of Intrastat declaration
  • Representation at tax offices 
  • Translation of documents necessary for registration
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