Please join PwC’s Value Added Tax Practice for a webcast on Thursday, March 14th from 12:00 to 1:00pm ET.
Webcast will focus on the challenges that sellers of electronically delivered content face when selling to customers in the European Union and elsewhere.
The European Union (EU) has long required EU established businesses to account for VAT, at the rate where the business is established, on sales of electronically supplied services (eservices), such as mobile applications, downloadable or cloud accessible games and music, and subscriptions to websites, to private individuals located in the EU. Find out more
In today’s article we will take a look at information the EU Commission suggests that should be collected and used to determine the location of the customer – buyer of eservices. We will also analyze the practicability of the various proposed location evidences and think about how easy they are obtained in practice.
As you are probably aware, at least as of 2015 every business supplying eservices to non-VAT registered customers in the EU will have to charge VAT in the country where its customer is located. In a number of cases this rule already applies (e.g. if the eservices are supplied by non-EU companies to EU customers or if they are supplied to Swiss, Norwegian, etc… customers).
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On 1 January 2015 the final phase of the so-called VAT package will come into force and will involve important changes in the VAT treatment of intra-EU business-to-consumer (‘B2C’) supplies in relation to telecommunications, broadcasting and electronic services.
From that moment on, all telecommunications, broadcasting and electronic services provided to non-taxable persons will be taxable at the place where the customer is established, has his permanent address or usually resides. Affected businesses will therefore be required to charge, report and pay local VAT in every Member State in which they have customers, which may result in multiple VAT-registrations throughout the EU.
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As reported, France and Luxembourg have started to apply reduced and super reduced VAT rates to ebooks without obtaining an approval from the rest of EU. This gave them competitive edge over the rest of the EU countries, as companies which were selling ebooks to their EU B2C customers from those two countries could sell them at the lowest available VAT rates (3% for sales from Luxembourg and 5% for sales from France). This (in words of Commissioner Šemeta, responsible for taxation) “runs counter to the fundamental EU principle of fair tax competition.”
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On 6 February 2013, the Dutch State Secretary of Finance published a new Decree regarding the VAT treatment of the sale, distribution and use of phone cards and mobile phone contracts. The Decree entered into force on 7 February 2013, although businesses have until 1 July 2013 to adapt to some of the new rules. The Decree includes a number of substantive changes. Additionally, the Secretary of State provides a number of definitions.
The impact of the Decree is not limited to telecommunications businesses, but also affects agents / distributors and content providers. All these parties may have to change parts of their processes and systems. Find out more
In this article we attempt to explain in a simplified way the impact VAT can have on determining the purchase price of an ebusiness company during a due diligence process. This should be of special interest for investors investing in ebusinesses and also for owners of a start-up when planning to gain additional capital or when playing with the idea of selling their companies some time in the future.
We have explained in previous posts that as of 1.1.2015 all ebusinesses providing eservices to non-VAT registered customers in the EU will have to charge VAT at the rate applicable in the EU country the customer resides in. Find out more
China’s sustained economic expansion over the past three decades has created an entire generation of new consumers. February 2013 issue of PwC’s r&c worlds Express update sheds light on Chinese consumers’ online shopping habits, based on the responses of 900 Chinese shoppers to a recent PwC survey. The Chinese consumers in our survey exhibit unique shopping patterns; for example, shopping far more often and using more on-the-go technology than survey respondents in the West.
The Chinese shoppers are adopting the Internet as a retail channel much faster than their global peers and running ahead of the pack in terms of using new devices and social media. Find out more
This publication prepared by PwC US takes the US view on the VAT treatment of eservices supplied through the Cloud (electronically) in Europe and takes a look at the global trends in the VAT treatment of cross-border eservices delivered via the cloud.
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This is the sixth consecutive year that PwC has published a study of online shoppers, and our second truly global survey.
Below are some highlights from this year’s report.
- 59% of respondents follow brands or retailers on social media, compared to 49% last year
- When it comes to their favorite brands and retailers, 38% of our respondents are following them on social media; up from 33% last year
- 27% of respondents discovered brands through social media, compared to 17% last year
- Fully 49% of our survey sample said they use social media every day, an increase of 14% over last year
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First and the most important fact: These rules are mandatory for any kind of ebusiness, no matter where it is established or has a nexus: in EU, US, China, India, Australia, Switzerland. As soon as a company provides eservices to a non VAT registered EU customer (regardless whether the customer is a legal or a natural person) it is bound by these rules, regardless whether it has a “physical” presence, server or agent in the EU. The customer’s location is the only thing that matters.
We have already presented some of the upcoming VAT changes to eservices (and also telecom and broadcasting services) previously. Find out more