Since 1 January 2019, special obligations have applied to operators of an electronic marketplace such as Amazon, Ebay, About You etc., which primarily affect companies located in third countries that have not yet registered for tax purposes in Germany. The new regulation comprises two core elements:
The operator of the electronic marketplace must provide proof of the details of the sellers by means of a valid certificate from the competent tax office at the time of the respective delivery confirming the tax registration of the supplier. Tax registration within the meaning of this regulation means that a certificate must be issued to the affected seller. The certificate serves as proof to the marketplace operator that the entrepreneur is registered for tax purposes. The assessment of the reliability for turnover tax purposes is not part of this certificate. Existing indications that the applicant does not fulfil his VAT obligations or does not fulfil them to a significant extent are therefore irrelevant. Upon application, small entrepreneurs also receive a certificate from the responsible tax office confirming their tax registration.
Until now it was unclear what the sellers should submit whose turnover in the EU is not taxable at all. The tax offices have not issued certificates to these sellers. In addition, the German Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF) has only recently published BMF guidelines (https://www.bundesfinanzministerium.de/Content/DE/Downloads/BMF_Schreiben/Steuerarten/Umsatzsteuer/2019-01-28-haftung-für-umsatzsteuerbeim-handel-wit-waren im-internet.html) and stated that the delivery of a suitable explanation by the affected entrepreneur is sufficient. It concerns for example the following cases:
Therefore, the operators of the marketplace will obtain appropriate declarations.