If a digital platform makes it possible for businesses to use the platform to sell products to consumers, it can be held liable for the remittance of the VAT.
A digital platform is only liable for the VAT if the platform is involved in the consumer sales process. This is the case when the digital platform establishes general terms and conditions to be accepted by the consumer, exerts influence on the invoicing and payment process, or has any involvement in the shipping of the goods. The dispatch of a shipping confirmation to a consumer, for example, is at present considered sufficient to establish the liability of a digital platform for the payment of VAT.
A digital platform is only liable for the VAT in the following two cases:
Distance sales of imported goods with an intrinsic value of up to EUR 150.
Distance sales by non-EU businesses of goods already in the EU.
If a digital platform is liable for VAT for distance sales, a notional B2B delivery from the business to the platform is followed by a notional B2C delivery from the platform to the consumer. The goods are actually delivered directly to the consumer by the business.
The notional B2B delivery is exempt from VAT, with a right of deduction of the input VAT. The notional B2C is subject to VAT. The digital platform must remit VAT in the Member State of receipt by the consumer.