Knowledge Base: E-commerce Accounting and VAT Compliance


The EC Sales List – what you need to know?

Date11 Aug 2023

The EC Sales List, or Summary of Intra-Community Sales, is an important part of reporting international trade within the European Union.

What is the EC Sales List?

The ECSL is a document containing detailed information on intra-community transactions, i.e. sales of goods and services between VAT-registered entities in different EU member states.

The main purpose of the EC Sales List is to enable tax authorities to effectively monitor and control the flow of goods and services between different EU countries. With this system it is possible to detect potential tax fraud. It allows constant verification of transactions in trade between EU countries and supports the functioning of the single intra-EU market.

The sales list is obligatory for companies conducting intra-Community transactions. It includes both the sale of goods and the provision of services that are subject to VAT in the buyer’s country. In practice, it applies to most transactions between EU countries, with some exceptions, such as the export of goods outside the EU or certain special cases of services.

When should the EC Sales List be filed?

The deadlines for filing the list are determined by the tax laws of each EU member state and may vary slightly from country to country. Nevertheless, there are general rules that are worth understanding in order to properly comply with tax obligations.

In general, the ECSL is usually filed once a month. The month for which the list must be completed is called the “tax period”. Businesses must compile and submit a list containing information on their intra-Community transactions that took place during the accounting period.

It should be noted that failure to complete the EC Sales List on time or in error can result in a financial penalty or other tax sanctions, so entrepreneurs should monitor the deadlines for submitting the lists.

What should the EC Sales List contain?

The ECSL must contain accurate and comprehensive information regarding intra-community transactions. The most important ones are:

  1. Buyer’s VAT Number: Each transaction requires the VAT number of the purchaser, who is registered as a VAT taxpayer in another EU country.
  2. Transaction Date: The exact date of the intra-community transaction is necessary for proper allocation within the settlement period.
  3. Net value of goods/services: The value of the transaction should be provided before adding VAT.
  4. VAT Rate: Indication of the appropriate VAT rate.
  5. VAT Amount: The VAT amount received must be added to the net value and the gross value of the transaction should be provided.
  6. Destination Country of Goods/Services: The precise country to which the goods or services were delivered must be specified.
  7. Reference Number: In some countries, the ECSL requires an additional reference number, which facilitates the identification and linking of transactions.
  8. Other Required Data: Depending on the regulations of individual countries, the EC Sales List may also require other information, such as seller’s identification data, information regarding goods delivery, or provision of services.

What to remember when sending an EC Sales List?

The ECSL can be submitted online using the appropriate tax system of the given country. In some countries, filling out the respective form on the tax authority’s website is sufficient, while in others, using dedicated software is necessary.

What should you pay attention to?

  • Obtain necessary information: Before completing the EC, ensure you have access to all the required data.
  • Apply the correct format: Each EU member state may have a slightly different ECSL format or requirements for data submission. Therefore, it’s important to understand the specific regulations in the country where you operate. Make sure you fill out the ECSL in accordance with local tax requirements.
  • Use an electronic platform: Most EU member countries offer electronic platforms or portals that allow businesses to submit the ECSL online.
  • Consider the filing deadline: It’s worth remembering that deadlines can vary depending on the country, so strict adherence to local regulations is necessary.
  • Ensure all data is correct: Verify the ECSL before submission to avoid errors.

The EC Sales List plays a crucial role in accurately reporting intra-community transactions within the European Union.
It’s important to always be aware of the current deadlines for submitting EC Sales Lists and to adhere to local tax regulations.

In case of doubts or questions, we encourage you to consult with amavat®.

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