The MOSS regime, introduced in January 2015, is a simplified registration that is currently available for cross border, business to consumer ("B2C") supplies of digital services, broadcasting and telecommunication services.
These services are subject to VAT by reference to the EU country where the customer belongs. Suppliers who don’t adopt the MOSS regime are required to register in every single EU country in which they have customers. There is currently no threshold to avoid such an obligation to register. Therefore, registration under the MOSS regime is often the more practical solution as it allows registration in a single EU country.
The EU Commission’s latest proposal is to extend the MOSS regime to cover all cross border B2C services and eventually to all B2C supplies of goods (effectively ending the need for registration under the distance selling regime).
UK suppliers assuming that these provisions will be avoided when the UK exits the EU should remember that all non-EU suppliers are also caught by similar rules. Formally referred to as the VAT on Electronic Services ("VoES") scheme, this was replaced by the Non-Union MOSS regime. This allows any non-EU established B2C supplier of digital services to register in a single EU country of its choice rather than have to register in possibly all 28 countries. The current MOSS scheme and any proposals to extend its scope to cover other services and goods will hit all non-EU and EU suppliers alike.
The EU has promised legislative proposals by the end of 2016 as part of its Action Plan to modernise and simplify VAT for cross border trade. It is a case of watch this space for future developments.
Should you wish to discuss any of the above points or how leaving the EU will affect your VAT position, please contact Alan Pearce our VAT Partner.