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VAT and BREXIT: MOSS

POSTED BY: Scott Sartin

12 January 21

MOSS is an EU provision which applies to worldwide suppliers of e-services, telecoms and broadcasting to customers in the EU not in business, unless they choose to register for VAT in each country in which they have customers. Consequently, it will continue to apply to UK providers in 2021 and beyond, requiring them to account for VAT according to the location of the customer. A MOSS registration continues to be required, but can no longer be held in the UK. Most affected UK businesses will need to apply for a MOSS registration in Ireland (other places are possible but the common language is likely to be the decision-making factor). The €10,000 de minimis, allowing VAT to be accounted by suppliers in their own jurisdiction up to that level, does not apply to non-EU businesses.

In addition, from 1 July 2021 (deferred from 1 January 2021 on account of coronavirus), MOSS (renamed OSS) will be extended to lower values of goods shipped into the EU where the customer is not a business. This will affect many mail order suppliers. Retail goods to a value of €150 will enter the EU VAT and duty free, but the overseas supplier (or a marketplace platform acting on their behalf) will be obliged to account for VAT to the tax authorities of the member state of the consumer, at the rate in force for the type of goods involved in that jurisdiction. As has been the case for e-services historically, this may entail either multiple registrations throughout the EU or OSS returns. Retail businesses affected will need to prepare in advance of the change, and again Ireland is likely to be the country of choice to hold an OSS registration. Packages with a value over €150 will be conventional exports from the UK and imports into the EU.

The “distance selling” rules, covering sales to consumers in EU member states, are no longer relevant to UK sellers when the UK ceases to be part of the EU on 1 January 2021.

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