After the EU member states lose up to 60 billion euros each year through VAT fraud, the EU Commission recently presented a new countermeasure. It is an analysis tool that gives tax administrations quick and easy access to information on cross-border transactions. It thus offers the possibility to react quickly to potential cases of VAT fraud.
The analysis tool (TNA = Transaction Network Analysis) was developed in close cooperation between the Member States and the EU Commission and will enable much more intensive cooperation within the EU Anti-Fraud Expert Network („Eurofisc“) in the joint analysis of data. This should above all promote the exchange of information between the national financial administrations and also enable comparison with databases of Europol and the EU anti-fraud authority OLAF.
Although the aim is in particular to combat VAT carousels and gang fraud, it would not be the first time that the common taxpayer would be caught in the crossfire between fraudsters and law enforcers. This is because the already very high cost of documentation within the scope of value added tax can only be justified by the abuse that takes place.
It therefore remains to be seen which cases will be taken up by the new analysis tool TNA and it cannot be ruled out that mail order companies with EU-wide trade could be an application case of TNA. If their sales to private individuals in other EU countries exceed the delivery threshold of the respective country, they are obliged to register for sales tax in this country and to comply with their tax obligations there. The VAT of the respective EU country must also be shown on the invoices.
If German value added tax continues to be reported despite the delivery threshold being exceeded, the entrepreneur will owe this unjustifiably reported value added tax in accordance with § 14c UStG in addition to the foreign value added tax.
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