Registrierung zum OSS
Topic

EU One-Stop-Shop (OSS): Everything you need to know

When is the OSS suitable for managing your VAT reporting and payment obligations? In which cases do you need local registration? What do you need to bear in mind when registering and in the OSS procedure? – We answer all questions about the One-Stop-Shop on our topic page.

The introduction of the One-Stop-Shop (OSS)

Since 1 July 2021, the second stage of the so-called VAT digital package of the EU Commission applies. This is associated with the introduction of the One-Stop-Shop, or OSS for short.

The One-Stop-Shop refers to the central processing of all VAT reporting and payment obligations arising from trade in goods with consumers in the EU-27 in a single tax declaration.

The use of this scheme requires the merchant to register for it. In Germany, the Bundeszentralamt für Steuern (BZSt) is the competent authority for this.

Background

VAT is due in the country of destination

Since 1 July 2021, an EU-wide threshold of EUR 10,000 applies to supplies of goods to consumers. This replaces the previously applicable country-specific delivery thresholds.

Suppose the turnover from cross-border sales of goods to private individuals in the European Union (distance sales) exceeds the threshold of EUR 10,000 (net). In that case, VAT is due in the EU Member State where the sold goods enter or where they are consumed. The merchant must apply the VAT rates applicable in the destination country, report the VAT there and pay it to the tax authority responsible there. A prerequisite for this is registration for VAT purposes in the respective country of destination of the goods. Alternatively, merchants can register for the One-Stop-Shop procedure since 1 April 2021.

One-Stop-Shop

Registration

The BZSt online portal (BOP) is available for applications in Germany. The German VAT identification number (USt-IDNr.) is required for this purpose. Each EU Member State has its own contact point where EU merchants based there can register.

Participation in the OSS procedure applies uniformly to all EU Member States, i.e. distance sales are only taken into account within the framework of the One-Stop-Shop declaration.

Registration generally starts on the first day of the calendar quarter following the application. Note: Registration must be completed by the end of a quarter in order to be able to report via the OSS in the following quarter.

How to register with OSS (DE)

OSS Guide Registration Step 3
Step by step

OSS declaration

The reporting and payment of tax liability in other EU countries for merchants based in Germany is done via the BZSt online portal (BOP).

Learn step by step how to report your transactions in the BZSt Online-Portal (BOP):

OSS data entry: How it works

BOP Umsätze hinzugefügt
Background

Responsibilities and functioning of the One-Stop-Shop for European merchants

The One-Stop-Shop allows merchants to declare and pay for all sales within the European Union centrally in only one EU Member State (and not in 27). This single declaration then includes, broken down by individual Member State, all distance sales, including the VAT incurred on them, which were made in the Member States of the European Union. Payment of the resulting VAT liability is also made centrally to this one-stop-shop.

An essential task of the one-stop shops is the so-called clearing. Clearing refers to the distribution of the VAT declared by the merchant and paid to the relevant contact point to the EU Member States in which the respective sales transactions took place. The VAT payment to the EU Member States takes place based on the OSS declarations submitted.

OSS+ BASIC

Preparing your VAT reporting to the One-Stop-Shop

Compliant OSS declarations made easy and efficient

OSS+ BASIC takes over the extraction and preparation of your VAT-relevant data for reporting to the One-Stop-Shop.

Sales declaration

VAT registration and reporting obligations since 1 July 2021

Cross-border sales of goods in the EU (distance sales) are accompanied by registration and tax declaration obligations for merchants in the EU Member States. Merchants can either register for VAT in each of the 27 EU Member States to which they sell goods, declare their sales there regularly and pay VAT to the local tax authorities of the EU Member State.

Alternatively, merchants use the so-called One-Stop-Shop (OSS). The OSS option can only be exercised for all EU Member States as a whole. Mixing individual local distance selling registrations and using the OSS for only a few selected countries at the same time is not possible. But: When participating in the OSS procedure, an additional local registration in individual EU countries may become necessary, for example if warehouses (e.g. FBA) in other EU countries are included in the transaction.

Local registrations in EU Member States

Merchants may already have registration in other EU countries (e.g., exceeding the previously applicable supply thresholds required registration).

  • Existing registrations can be maintained (declaration of all sales incl. distance sales), but then participation in the OSS procedure is not possible.

A local registration is compulsory in the following cases

    • for intra-community acquisitions, intra-community deliveries (B2B; additional declarations, e.g. EC sales list, Intrastat, SAF-T), e.g. in the case of warehousing, Amazon FBA
    • in the case of commingling (sale of your products via other traders in the course of making them quickly available)
    • for local deliveries that are not remote sales

Declaration of sales via One-Stop-Shop (OSS)

The use of the One-Stop-Shop is optional for merchants (alternative is local registration).

When using the One-Stop-Shop procedure, registration occurs exclusively in the country of residence.

The registration for the OSS procedure has been possible since 1 April 2021 at the Federal Central Tax Office (BZSt).

The taxation period is always a calendar quarter.

All distance sales from Germany and other EU member states are declared (reported).

Participation in the OSS procedure + foreign registration

When participating in the OSS procedure, additional local registration may be required in individual EU countries. The following declaration obligations apply here:

    • OSS declaration: quarterly at the Federal Central Tax Office (BZSt)
    • Local registration in selected countries: monthly or quarterly declaration (depending on country)
Sales declaration

Pros and cons of joining the OSS procedure

Pros

VAT for all EU distance sales is declared via one registration.

One VAT payment for all distance sales within the EU per quarter to the BZSt.

In the OSS procedure, distance sales from a warehouse to another EU Member State can also be declared.

There is no (VAT) invoicing obligation.

Cons

The reimbursement of VAT does not take place via the OSS, but via the tax authorities of the respective country of destination.

The risk of a VAT check in the respective EU country as well as the communication with national authorities still lies with the merchant.

For all distance sales (cross-border sales of goods to consumers) in EU member states, the use of the OSS must be carried out equally.

Should I register for the One-Stop-Shop?

Registration for the OSS procedure for all relevant transactions is recommended. Otherwise, all turnover above EUR 10,001 (net) must be reported in the country of destination. Your tax advisor will support you with information on the need for action in your specific individual case.

What you need to consider in the OSS procedure

Obligations when using the OSS

Registration for the OSS procedure obliges to file the OSS tax return electronically in due time.

Basic deadlines

The following deadlines must be met for declaring your remote sales to the OSS:

1st quarter sales by 30 April,
2nd quarter sales by 31 July,
3rd quarter sales by 31 October,
4th quarter turnover by 31 January of the following year.

If no sales were carried out in the quarter, submitting a zero return is required.

Timely payment

The declared VAT must be paid on time (i.e. receipt of the payment by the respective deadline mentioned above at the competent federal treasury, stating a specific purpose). Direct debit is not possible.

Your tax advisor will support you with information on the need for action in your specific individual case.

Record-keeping obligations

Records must be made available electronically on request to the Federal Central Tax Office, the competent tax office, or the centrally competent authorities of the other EU Member States. The retention period for the records is ten years.

No declaration of excise taxes in the OSS

The declaration of excise taxes (e.g., alcohol, coffee, sparkling wine, tobacco) is impossible in the OSS procedure. Please coordinate the consideration of VAT on excisable goods with your tax advisor.

No OSS with differential taxation

There is no application of the distance selling regulation in the OSS procedure for goods subject to differential taxation (including second-hand goods).

If you wish to withdraw your participation in the OSS

Revoke participation in the OSS procedure

Revocation of participation in the OSS procedure is generally possible at the Federal Central Tax Office (Bundeszentralamt für Steuern, BZSt) subject to a cancellation period of 15 days at the beginning of a new taxation period (calendar quarter) with effect from this period.

If changes occur

Changes of registration data

Changes in registration data must be reported to the Federal Central Tax Office (BZSt) electronically (use of BOP access, under the heading “Forms”) on the tenth day of the month following the change in circumstances at the latest.

However, a change of company name and address must be reported exclusively to the competent tax office.

Registration data can be changed within three years after the deregistration from the special scheme takes effect.

The deregistration from the special scheme shall take place no later than the tenth day of the month following the occurrence of the change (use of BOP access, under the heading “Forms”) if:

    • the provision of services has ceased
    • the eligibility requirements cease to apply in all EU Member States
    • registration in another EU Member State due to discontinuation of the participation requirements in Germany (e.g. after the relocation of the registered office or after the closure of a permanent establishment in Germany)

If no turnover is achieved for two years, the business can be excluded from the OSS by the tax authorities.

OSS+ BASIC

Preparing your VAT reporting to the One-Stop-Shop

Compliant OSS declarations made easy and efficient

OSS+ BASIC takes over the extraction and preparation of your VAT-relevant data for reporting to the One-Stop-Shop.

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