E-commerce: European Council adopts new rules for exchange of VAT payment data

The Council adopted on Feb 18, 2020 a set of rules to facilitate detection of tax fraud in cross-border e-commerce transactions.

The new measures will enable member states to collect, in a harmonised way, the records made electronically available by payment service providers, such as banks. In addition, a new central electronic system will be set up for the storage of the payment information and for the further processing of this information by national anti-fraud officials.

Concretely, this set of new rules consists of two legislative texts:

  • amendments to the VAT directive putting in place requirements on payment service providers to keep records of cross-border payments related to e-commerce. This data will then be made available to national tax authorities under strict conditions, including those related to data protection.
  • amendments to a regulation on administrative cooperation in the area of VAT. These amendments set out the details of how national tax authorities will cooperate in this area to detect VAT fraud and control compliance with VAT obligations.

The texts complement the VAT regulatory framework for e-commerce coming into force in January 2021 which introduced new VAT obligations for online marketplaces and simplified VAT compliance rules for online businesses.

The new measures will apply as of 1 January 2024.

Source: https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2020