Tag Archives: EU

EU: Advocate General supportive of taxpayer in the Lebara ECJ case

The Advocate General has given his opinion in the UK case of Lebara Ltd (C-520/10) at European Court of Justice (ECJ) concerning the supply of phone cards to distributors in other EU-States, which end users belonging in that same EU-State can redeem in return for receiving telecoms services (previously reported here). In summary, the Advocate General has suggested that the distributor, and not the card issuer (in this case Lebara) should be liable for the VAT due on the supply of telecoms services to end users. The reasons for this are that the distributor is either acting as an undisclosed agent of the card issuer or, in the alternative, because the card issuer makes a single supply of telecoms services to the distributor and the distributor in turn makes a supply to the end user.
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EU: Internet sellers are jointly liable for import duties

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has recently passed a decision in a Case C‑454/10 Oliver Jestel regarding the question of who is liable for the payment of customs duties when goods are imported into the EU. The case involved an Online shop within the EU, where the shop owner was acting as an intermediary between the fraudulent seller and the customers. ECJ has essentially deemed that the shop owner is co-liable for the payment of the costumes duties and import VAT, which should have been paid (but were not) be the foreign seller, as the shop owner should have been aware that the seller is selling goods illegally imported into the EU.
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EU: VAT treatment of digital newspapers vs. their paper version

The European Parliament has in September 2011 published answers to questions of the European Parliament concerning the VAT rate of on-line newspapers and magazines. They have addressed the issue that the digital version of newspapers and magazines is taxed at the higher VAT rate then their paper version although the content is more or less the same.  This is one of the items which should be further discussed and addressed in the intended reform of the EU VAT system.
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France: VAT reduced on e-books as of 1 January 2012

As of 1 January 2012 e-books sold in France will be cheaper due to a lower VAT rate. They will be taxed with 5.5% instead of 19.6%. This will make the France the cheapest country to sell e-books in the whole EU. It might be interesting for e-publishing companies to consider to relocate their e-book stores to France to benefit from the low VAT rate for their EU wide e-book sales.

According to new article 278 bis 6° of the French Tax Code (implementation of article 98.2 of the VAT Directive EC/112/2006), the French VAT reduced rate at 5.5% is applicable to books, whatever their physical support and including books provided by electronic means. This new provision will be applicable in France to all transaction for which the tax point occurs as from 1 January 2012.
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