VAT OSS for Cross-Country eBay Sellers

The article explains what VAT OSS (Value Added Tax - One Stop Shop) is and how it simplifies VAT compliance for requirements for European eBay sellers making sales across EU borders. It covers who is required to have VAT OSS, how to obtain it in the UK, France, Italy and Spain, the benefits and risks, and some additional resources.

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What is VAT OSS

VAT OSS (Value Added Tax - One Stop Shop) is a system in the EU that simplifies VAT compliance for companies selling goods to clients in other EU countries.

Who is required to have it?

As an eBay seller in Europe, you're required to use VAT OSS if your total yearly sales to EU clients exceed €10,000.

eBay requirements

eBay is obligated to collect VAT on items sold to EU customers (up to €150 value) and may restrict your account or remove your listings if you’re not compliant.

Recently started taking down offers which have missing or incorrect VAT OSS info.

To continue selling to German clients you need to:

  • Follow the link, to indicate that you use OSS as in the screenshot below:



How to obtain it in UK / France / Germany / Italy / Spain

You register for VAT OSS through your home country's tax authority. The process varies slightly by country, but generally involves:

  • Having a valid VAT registration in your home country.
  • Meeting the €10,000 sales threshold.
  • Completing an online application form.

Here's how to find the specific application form for each country:

  • UK: You won't find a dedicated VAT OSS application form in the UK since the UK left the EU. However, you can register for VAT online through HMRC (Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs). You'll need to create a Government Gateway account first. Here's the starting point

  • Germany: VAT registration and VAT OSS applications in Germany are handled through the ELSTER online portal. You'll need to register for an ELSTER certificate beforehand. Details are available on the Federal Ministry of Finance website
  • France: French VAT registration and VAT OSS applications are managed through the tax authority's website
  • Spain: Spanish VAT registration and VAT OSS applications are processed through the Spanish Tax Agency website
  • Italy: Italian VAT registration and VAT OSS applications are handled through the Agenzia delle Entrate website


Benefits of VAT OSS:

  • Reduced paperwork: Instead of registering for VAT in each EU country you sell to, you file a single quarterly return for all EU sales through VAT OSS.
  • Simplified compliance: VAT OSS simplifies the process of collecting and paying VAT on your EU sales.
  • Reduced risk of errors: Filing one return minimizes errors and potential penalties compared to managing multiple VAT registrations.

Risks of not having it (if your sales exceed €10,000):

  • Fines and penalties: EU tax authorities can impose fines for non-compliance with VAT regulations.
  • Account suspension: eBay may restrict your selling privileges or remove your listings.

Do all EU countries require it?

VAT OSS is an optional scheme, but highly recommended if your sales exceed the €10,000 threshold.