UPDATE: Germany announces that online marketplaces will be liable for their merchants’ unpaid VAT from 2019

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Germany has passed a new law which extends its existing joint and several liability rules to hold online marketplaces (such as eBay, Amazon etc.) liable for unpaid VAT by the merchants selling over their platforms.

This new law will come into force from January 2019. This requires online marketplaces to either keep a record of their merchants’ German VAT certificates or hold digital confirmation from the German tax authorities that the merchants are up-to-date with their VAT affairs.

This measure is designed to help to prevent online VAT fraud, which is estimated to cost the European Union up to €5 billion per year.

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