EU VAT Tax resources for distance sellers

Key information concerning EU VAT requirements for distance sellers (e-commerce companies).

While we provide some basic information on EU VAT regulations below, ATG Tax Global highly recommends that you seek professional advice on VAT law in each of the EU territories you wish to trade in. This is because tax laws change all the time and it is possible that you are unaware of a requirement that will make the difference between losing and maintaining your compliance. Non-compliance can lead to penalties, fines and issues with international sales.

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2018 VAT registration thresholds across Europe

Austria €35,000
Belgium €35,000
Bulgaria BGN 70,000
Croatia HRK 270,000
Cyprus €35,000
Czech Republic CZK 1.14 million
Denmark DKK 280,000
Estonia €35,000
Finland €35,000
France €35,000
Germany €100,000
Greece €35,000
Hungary €35,000
Ireland €35,000
Italy €35,000
Latvia €35,000
Lithuania €35,000
Luxembourg €100,000
Malta €35,000
Netherlands €100,000
Poland PLN 160,000
Portugal €35,000
Romania RON 118,000
Slovakia €35,000
Slovenia €35,000
Spain €35,000
Sweden SEK 320,000
Switzerland CHF 100,000
United Kingdom GBP 70,000

2018 VAT rates in key EU territories

Each member state has its own VAT rates, with reductions across several categories of goods. We recommend always being aware of the VAT rates for each country you plan to trade in before starting to trade and factoring this into your financial planning at an early stage. Careful financial planning is crucial to success. Also bear in mind that VAT reductions are often stipulated as relating to “some” goods and suppliers within a certain category, so it can be very difficult to know, without professional advice, whether this reduction applies to your business. Our experts are here to help you with any questions concerning EU VAT.

Here are the current VAT rates for some key EU member states:

Belgium VAT rates 

  • Standard VAT rate: 21%
  • Reduced VAT rate: 12% for restaurants
  • Reduced VAT rate: 6% for foodstuffs, books, water, pharmaceuticals, medical, newspapers, cultural and entertainment events, hotels

Czech Republic VAT rates 

  • Standard VAT rate: 21%
  • Reduced VAT rate: 15% for foodstuffs (excluding essential child nutrition and gluten-free food), non-alcoholic beverages, water supplies, medical equipment for disabled persons, children’s car seats; some domestic passenger transport, some books, admission to cultural events, shows and amusement parks, hotel  accommodation, admission to sporting events, medical and dental care, some pharmaceuticals and food provided in restaurants and cafes
  • Reduced VAT rate: 10% for foodstuffs (selected baby food and gluten-free food), newspapers and periodicals, some pharmaceutical products and some books (excluding e-books)
  • Reduced VAT rate: 0% on intra-community and international transport 

Denmark VAT rates

  • Standard VAT rate: 25%
  • Reduced VAT rate: 0% for newspapers and journals, intra-community and international transport

France VAT rates

  • Standard VAT rate: 20%
  • Reduced VAT rate: 10% for pharmaceuticals, passenger transport, admission to cultural sporting and entertainment events, hotels, accommodation and restaurants
  • Reduced VAT rate: 5.5% medical, foodstuffs, ebooks, books
  • Reduced VAT rate: 2.1% newspapers, pharmaceuticals

Germany VAT rates

  • Standard VAT rate: 19%
  • Reduced VAT rate: 7% for a selected range of food, medical, transport and entertainment industries
  • Reduced VAT rate: 0% for intra-community and international transport (excluding road and rail and some inland waterways transport)

Ireland VAT rates

  • Standard VAT rate: 23%
  • Reduced VAT rate: 13.5% for some foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals, medical and dental care, children’s goods, social housing, health, tourism and entertainment services — it is advisable to check whether your service falls under this category of VAT reduction, as the rules are quite specific
  • Reduced VAT rate: 9% for some foodstuffs, take-away food, bars and cafes, newspapers and periodicals, cultural activities, hotels, restaurants and sports facilities, hairdressing
  • Reduced VAT rate: 4.8% for some livestock and agricultural supplies
  • Reduced VAT rate: 0% for some foodstuffs, agricultural and food-supply products, medical equipment, children’s footwear/clothing and intra-community/international transport

Italy VAT rates

  • Standard VAT rate: 22%
  • Reduced VAT rate: 10% for some foodstuffs and beverages, water/waste/heating supplies, pharmaceutical products, transportation, admission to cultural events, social housing, hotels, restaurants, energy products
  • Reduced VAT rate: 5% for some foodstuffs and social services
  • Reduced VAT rate: 4% for some food products, medical equipment, books, TV licence, social housing, agricultural supplies
  • Reduced VAT rate: 0% for intra-community and international transport

Netherlands VAT rates

  • Standard VAT rate: 21%
  • Reduced VAT rate: 6% for some foodstuffs, soft drinks, water supplies, pharmaceutical products, medical equipment, transport, books, newspapers, restaurants, clothing and household items
  • Reduced VAT rate: 0% for taxation of gold coins, intra-community and international passenger transport by air or sea

Poland VAT rates

  • Standard VAT rate: 23%
  • Reduced VAT rate: 8% for certain foodstuffs, water supplies, pharmaceutical products, medical equipment for disabled persons, domestic passenger transport, some newspapers, restaurants (excluding alcohol and certain other beverages), clothing, shoes and leather goods, household items and some construction work on new buildings
  • Reduced VAT rate: 5% for some foodstuffs, fruit juices, certain books and specialist periodicals and some agricultural supplies
  • Reduced VAT rate: 0% on intra-community and international passenger transport (excluding inland waterway and road transport)

Spain VAT rates

  • Standard VAT rate: 21%
  • Reduced VAT rate: 10% for medical, pharmaceuticals, transport of passengers, admission to cultural sporting and entertainment events
  • Reduced VAT rates: 4% for foodstuffs, newspapers

Sweden VAT rates

  • Standard VAT rate: 25%
  • Reduced VAT rate: 12% for some foodstuffs, beverages, food, clothing, hotels and restaurants
  • Reduced VAT rate: 6% for domestic passenger transport, books, newspapers, admission to cultural and sports events 

United Kingdom VAT rates

  • Standard VAT rate: 20%
  • Reduced VAT rate: 5% for property renovations
  • Reduced VAT rate: 0% for children’s clothing, books, foodstuffs, passenger transport, medical and pharmaceuticals

Not Sure How to Manage Your EU VAT Returns?

ATG Tax Global is here to help distance sellers like you to reach additional EU markets. We will discuss your requirements with you during a free 30-minute initial telephone consultation and provide a quote based on your needs.

Contact us now

Contact ATG Tax Global

Speak with one of our friendly and experienced international tax consultants, and find out how you can save on the costs of trading in France and the wider EU.

ATG Tax Global

ATG Tax Global is an EU VAT consultancy operating out of Paris, France. With over 15 years experience in international tax law, our consultants understand the complexities of managing tax returns abroad. They are well-positioned to fully support you in positioning, preparing and processing your tax returns across the UK, France, Germany and many other major EU countries.

Contact ATG Tax Global

Speak with one of our friendly and experienced international tax consultants, and find out how you can save on the costs of trading in France and the wider EU.
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