1. General information on the One-Stop-Shop system (OSS system)

The new system standardizes the VAT treatment of certain deliveries and other services to non-entrepreneurs (distance sale).

The OSS is an electronic portal through which companies can declare and pay VAT incurred in the EU for certain sales. If a company uses the special regulation for the OSS, there is no obligation to register for VAT in the respective member state. There are three different OSS schemes within the EU, which can be briefly summarized as follows[1]:

Business Non-EU-OSS EU-OSS IOSS
EU-company Registration not possible Services to non-entrepreneurs*

Intra-community distance sales

Domestic deliveries through platforms (Sec 3 Para 3a Fig 2 Austrian VAT Act)

Import distance sales up to a maximum EUR 150,-
Third country Services to non-entrepreneurs Intra-community distance sales

Domestic deliveries through platforms (Sec 3 Para 3a Fig 2 Austrian VAT Act)

Import distance sales up to a maximum EUR 150,-

*Services can only be declared in the EU-OSS if the company is not established in the member state in which the service is provided.

In this context, the previous turnover thresholds for distance sale deliveries (“Versandhandelslieferungen”) will also be abolished. Instead a regulation for small businesses for intra-community distance sales and services to non-entrepreneurs in the amount of EUR 10,000 based on the entire EU area will be implemented (if this threshold is not exceeded in an overall assessment of the EU area, sales in the country of origin can be recorded for VAT). If the threshold is exceeded, VAT registration in the respective country of destination is required. Alternatively it is possible to use the OSS system. If a company opts for OSS registration, all relevant sales (services and intra-community distance sales to non-entrepreneurs) must be reported via the system.

2. EU-OSS

a.) Registration
Registration for the EU-OSS in Austria are submitted electronically via FinanzOnline. The use requires an Austrian VAT number. If the entrepreneur wants to use the EU-OSS and the requirements for use are met, the EU-OSS must be applied from the calendar quarter that follows the application (e.g. if an entrepreneur wants to use the EU-OSS from July 1, 2021, he must submit an application for registration no later than 30 June 2021).

In the event that a service is provided for the first time, the application can be submitted by the 10th day of the month following the first service provision (e.g. if the first service is provided in August 2021, an application must be submitted by September 10, 2021 via FinanzOnline).

Furthermore an electronic test environment[2] and associated instructions[3] are already available for the EU-OSS system, in order that entrepreneurs can test the future process.

b.) Ongoing reports and payment
In Austria the reports are made via FinanzOnline. The declaration period is the calendar quarter. The declaration must be submitted by the last day of the month following the declaration period:

Declaration period Report by no later than
Q1 (January – March) April, 30
Q2 (April – June) July, 31
Q3 (July – September) October, 31
Q4 (October – December) January, 31

The VAT payment for the transactions declared via EU-OSS is made via the Member State of identification to an account set up for the purposes of the EU-OSS. Payment must be made when the declaration is submitted, but no later than the last day of the month following the declaration period.

The input VAT deduction is not possible via the EU-OSS. If input VAT is deductible, it must be claimed in the input VAT refund procedure or in the assessment procedure (if the company is registered on the basis of other sales).

c.) Termination
The EU-OSS can be terminated at any time. In any case, this is necessary if the activity discontinues. The termination must be declared electronically no later than 15 days before the end of a calendar quarter and takes effect at the beginning of the following calendar quarter.

3. Non-EU-OSS
If a third country entrepreneur operates his company outside the EU and has neither a permanent establishment in Austria nor in another member state and is not obliged for other reasons to register for VAT reasons in a member state, the entrepreneur can choose Austria as the state of identification. The application for registration for this non-EU-OSS is made electronically via the portal set up for this purpose at the BMF. A test environment has already been set up.[4]

In general the same conditions apply regarding reports, payments and input taxes as in connection with the EU-OSS system.

4. IOSS for import distance sales
Furthermore an import one-stop shop (IOSS) will be implemented starting July 1, 2021. Import distance sales to non-entrepreneurs for whom the individual value of the goods per shipment does not exceed EUR 150 are exempt from import VAT. All other import deliveries with a value of goods of more than EUR 150 must be declared and taxed in accordance with the existing regulations. When importing, the trader must provide the transporter with his IOSS identification number so that the IOSS number can be presented (at the latest) when submitting the import customs declaration.

In general the same conditions apply with regard to registration, current reports, payments and input VAT as in connection with the OSS system, whereas the respective calendar month is relevant with regard to the declaration period.

5. Outlook
For the entrepreneurs concerned, an analysis of the current situation with regard to the individual possibilities is recommended. Furthermore, a corresponding technical system implementation would have to be scheduled.

[1]   https://www.usp.gv.at/steuern-finanzen/umsatzsteuer/Umsatzsteuer-One-Stop-Shop.html.

[2]   https://fon-moss.bmf.gv.at/extern/moss/test_fileupload_oss?execution=e1s1.

[3]   https://www.usp.gv.at/dam/jcr:8c1c0f91-3419-4764-a8c9-ff8c01232a33/Anleitung%20zur%20Verwendung%20der%20Test-Anwendung%20f%C3%BCr%20den%20XML-File-Uploads%20f%C3%BCr%20OSS%20Erkl%C3%A4rungen%20ab%201.7.2021.pdf.

[4]   https://non-eu-oss-evat.bmf.gv.at/public/moss/test_fileupload_oss?execution=e1s1.

Authors:

Christoph Puchner, Managing Director and Tax Advisor & Katharina Geweßler,
Tax Advisor from ECOVIS Austria