Germany implements Lebara decision on prepaid telecom cards

On 24 September 2012 the German Ministry of Finance issued a decree  (only available in German language) implementing the principles of the ECJ decision in the “Lebara” case. You can read more of this case here, here and here.

Each sale of single purpose prepaid cards is regarded as a telecommunication service if these cards are sold in the supplier’s own name. Otherwise, if the sale is made in the name of a third person, an intermediary service is on hand. Whether there is a telecommunication service or an intermediary service should be considered on each distribution level.

A single purpose prepaid card in the sense of the decree requires that it can exclusively be used for telephone calls by means of the provided infrastructure, and that it contains all information necessary to make calls.

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EU: Public consultation on new VAT rates – important for ebooks, digital newspapers and other eservices

In line with its previous indications the European Commission launched a public consultation last week in relation to the review of the reduced VAT rates. The public is invited to give their opinion on certain reduced VAT rates to see if they efficiently serve the purpose what they were created for.

The consultation forms part of the Commission’s VAT reform plans to build “a simpler, more robust and efficient VAT system”. And Commission is asking business for their input to this matter. It is your chance to have a saying in the much aniticpated reform of the EU VAT system.

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Finland: Proposed increase of VAT rates as of 1 January 2013

The Finnish government has recently proposed to have both the reduced and the standard VAT rates increased by 1%. According to the proposal the standard rate would increase from 23% to 24% and the lower rates of 9% and 13% to 10% and 14% respectively.

The proposal is yet to be adopted by the Finnish Parliament. This will probably take place in December 2012 to have the rate hikes incorporated before the expected effective date of 1 January 2013.

What does this mean for you?

If you are registered for VAT in Finland or are a non-EU company supplying B2C e-services to Finnish residents under the one-stop-shop scheme, you will need to be ready to update your ERP system and VAT codes.

Who are B2C clients for VAT purposes?

This article is again about one of the most frequently asked questions we are facing in our discussions with ebusinesses: What are “B2B” and what “B2C” clients?

The logical and expected explanation would be: B2B are all legal persons and B2C all natural persons / private individuals.

Unfortunately VAT follows its own logic – which is in most cases illogical when considered in everyday content. The above explanation therefore cannot be applied for VAT purposes.

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EU: VAT reporting rules for telecommunications, broadcasting and eservices mini one stop shop scheme

The Implementing Regulation No 815/2012 defining the VAT reporting rules for the mini one stop shop scheme (“MOSS”) for B2C telecommunication, broadcasting and eservices in the EU has been made officially available.
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EU: What are eservices?

One of the relatively common questions we receive from our ebiz clients these days is very logical: What are eservices? Let’s start with the terminology and follow it up with examples.

There are many different expressions for this kind of services: electronic services, electronically supplied services, digital services, digital products… We will call them eservices – if the European Commission can live with this, so can we. And it is such a nice, short, effective word. Find out more

Hungary: Tax on telecoms services

In Hungary, under the Act on Telecommunications Tax, telecom companies are subject to a new tax calculated on the basis of phone calls initiated and messages (SMS, MMS) sent by their subscribers. The new act took effect on 1 July 2012. The tax is payable by the service providers and the tax base is calculated on the basis of the total time of calls initiated and the number of messages sent from the call number of the subscriber, or, in the absence of a subscription, the call number registered at the service provider. The tax rates are HUF 2 per minute started for initiated phone calls and HUF 2 per message sent.
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Switzerland: The multi-channel shopper is changing the retail landscape

PwC surveyed 7,005 consumers worldwide, including 1,000 respondents from Switzerland. The single biggest conclusion that we drew from our study is that consumers are outpacing traditional retailers and online pure-players are closing the gap. Consumers choose the channel that best suits their needs, doing their research predominantly online for products before buying the product in a store. Besides company websites, more and more consumers are researching and following brands via social media.
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EU: E-book rates – Commission strikes back

As reported previously here, here, and here, France and Luxembourg have unilaterally decided to tax e-books at a (super)reduced VAT rate. They decided to tax them as “normal” books instead as e-services as they should be treated by the letter of the EU VAT Directive. This gave e-book traders established in France and Luxembourg a considerable advantage when selling e-books to their EU customers compared to e-book traders in other EU countries as it made the e-books in France and Luxembourg approx. 12% cheaper than before (reduction to a 3% super-reduced VAT rate instead of the standard rate of 15% in Luxembourg and to 7% instead of 19.6% in France).

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