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The Import One Stop Shop: Great for online sales (except when it’s not)

The EU’s VAT e-commerce package has benefited online retailers in Europe. However there are a number of important VAT issues that still need to be worked out. That’s according to preliminary results of a survey by online retailer industry body Ecommerce Europe. 

The survey found that the new Import One Stop Shop (IOSS) has led to positive results for e-commerce retailers and online platforms. However, the survey also identified three recurring problems: double taxation, IT issues, and different tax and invoicing processes across EU Member States. 

Double taxation 

According to survey responses, a number of e-commerce retailers experienced double taxation. VAT collection occurred at the point of sale via the IOSS and also at the point of import. 

Software compatibility

Each EU Member State has its own IOSS portal. Respondents say that they have experienced entry errors and other technical difficulties when attempting to file different VAT returns. According to Ecommerce Europe, the European Commission undertakes to address the technical incompatibilities. 

Bureaucratic differences

The third recurring issue stems from the different tax codes and invoicing requirements across states. This is an ongoing issue that precedes the VAT e-commerce package. 

Making the IOSS work for your business

The IOSS and e-commerce One Stop Shop (OSS) are still relatively new. Businesses can expect some issues at both a technical and policy level. However, there are ways to get the most out of the IOSS and OSS, while avoiding difficulties. 

Vatglobal’s e-commerce VAT specialists provide an integrated IOSS solutions that: 

  • Ensures you are always 100% VAT compliant. Don’t be penalised because of errors or inefficiencies in the IOSS system. 
  • Manages all the admin and liaises with local tax offices.
  • Deploys experts on the ground to resolve technical or regulatory issues.

The IOSS and can OSS make e-commerce in the EU simpler, faster and more efficient. But it helps to have the right VAT partner to manage even the most complex VAT issues and anticipate problems before they occur. Contact Vatglobal for a complete e-commerce VAT solution for your business. 

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