VAT - one of the keys
to do business in Europe

What business owner or CFO has not found themselves feeling overwhelmed at the complexities of VAT in international trade? It is a complex topic with ever-changing rules and regulations. You may think VAT is applied the same way in each Member State of the European Union. In reality, it is slightly more complicated and nuanced.

How will RMB help you?

While it is true that VAT rules are often very similar between each European Country, it is still important to ensure that your transactions do not fall under any specific exception rules. At RMB, we can carry out an analysis of your transactions and determine whether this is the case for your company.

To begin with, we will ask you specific questions that allow us to understand your transactions. We will ask you which countries your products are being shipped from, which countries they are being shipped to, which incoterms are being used, at what moment the propriety transfer to your client takes place…

Next, we will map out all your transactions, including all the countries where you purchase and sell goods.

Finally, we will offer you a practical and rigorous action plan.

Analysing your transactions

We will analyse and qualify your purchase and sales transactions for each category of product you deal with. This will be done in the following way:

  • We will identify which of your transactions are subject to VAT. In order to do this, it is important that your company answer the following questions:
    • Does your company sell goods or services?
    • Are your clients companies or private individuals?
    • Do you already possess a VAT number in another EU country?
    • Do your invoices comply with EU regulations?
  • We will identify any transactions that are potentially subject to declarative obligations other than VAT. For instance, intracommunity sales and purchases of products should generally be reported in an Intrastat return.
  • We will identify any possible taxes or specific legislations your products may be subject to. This is notably the case for products:
    • Containing electrical or electronic components,
    • Using batteries,
    • Containing alcohol or ingredients subject to specific taxes.
  • We will identify any possible tax exemptions that your company can benefit from. You may be able to benefit from:
    • The Import VAT deferment mechanism,
    • Simplification measures regarding consignment stocks,
    • Advantageous customs regimes for imports.

Mapping out the physical flows of your goods

We will map out the physical purchase and sales flows of your goods. In order to apply a VAT perspective to your transactions, it is necessary to determine the physical and logistical movements of your goods. Therefore, we will need to ask you the following questions:

  • Are your products imported into the European Union or are they bought in Europe?
  • Which incoterms do you use for sales and purchases?
  • Do you use storage facilities in EU countries?
  • Do you sell goods locally or to other countries in the European Union?

Plan of action

Your answers to the above questions will allow us to give you a plan of action containing all our recommendations. The plan of action will notably cover the following points:

  • Requirement of a VAT number in one or more EU countries,
  • Filing of VAT returns and/or returns for specific taxes,
  • Adjustment of your invoicing system.
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How can we help you today?

Do you have questions about how RMB can help your business? Send us an email and we’ll get in touch with you shortly, our VAT experts are always happy to help. You can also contact us by phone: +33 3 20 25 70 70.

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