Knowledge Base: E-commerce Accounting and VAT Compliance


Are you ready for the biggest shopping season?

Date12 Nov 2019

Important Information

Have you checked if ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Cyber Monday’ will tip you into new tax liabilities?

amavat® realises that this season is particular busy for online sellers and who can be distracted by the large activity.

The biggest shopping days in Europe are just around the corner, Friday 29th November and Monday 2nd December, ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Cyber Monday’  respectively. Within the commotion of meeting orders, online sellers can forget to keep one eye on EU country thresholds, which could possibly mean incurring potential audits, fines and penalty interest.

Tax authorities internationally will have their eyes firmly on this shopping season as an opportunity to lengthen their taxation net on eCommerce.

The biggest shopping days of the year in the EU

Online sellers and retailers will make more sales in quarter 4 – 2019 than during the previous 3 quarters combined. These peak festive shopping days in Europe will tip thousands of online sellers over annual VAT and sales tax selling thresholds in new EU territories. This could mean you will have to register and collect local taxes for the first time.

For sure sales will peak within the EU region at the start of December, pushing EU sellers over the EU VAT Distance Selling country thresholds. Amazon has already begun its ‘Happy Holideals’ plans from November 1st to 22nd, so you can see the ‘big guns’ have already started pushing for sails. While these aren’t the ‘full sales’ that will start when ‘Black Friday’ begins on November 29th, the rush to discount and lure early shoppers is beginning.

Preoccupied online sellers could get caught by VAT and Sales Tax Thresholds

With this being a very hectic selling period distracted online sellers might not be aware or monitoring their tax thresholds, and unfortunately tax authorities are alert to this. VAT Compliance for Online Sellers should be very high on your priorities list. Why not let our IT experts help you help yourself?

EU member states annual thresholds require online sellers to register and report local tax. You should carefully check the EU thresholds here.

  • Are you suitably registered in the right EU countries?
  • Have you planned ahead knowing that registrations can take between 1 or 2 months?
  • Have you thought about Amazon’s very popular ‘Fulfilment by Amazon’ (FBA)?

Threshold detection has been stepped-up by tax authorities

EU tax authorities throughout the region have massively financed in staff and systematic software to catch online sellers who have passed these thresholds. These include – Germany, France, Austria and Italy – which are marketplaces for example where you are required to report selling transactions in detail. Tax authorities even have the power to block offending online sellers.

You can see how important it is more than ever that online sellers identify if they are over any tax thresholds, or could do in the near future. If you would like to find out more regarding EU VAT Compliance, please do not hesitate to contact us here.

The information contained above is of a general nature and does not concern the situation of a specific company. We kindly ask you to determine, on the date of this information, whether it is still up to date.

Need help?

Speak to a Customer Relations Consultant for Online Sellers. An expert will respond shortly.

International Sales Manager
Customer Relations Consultant for Online Sellers