Recent changes in EU VAT rules now mean that UK business that sell goods via Amazon may find themselves needing to register for VAT in other European countries if they store goods outside the UK. This blog will answer some FAQs about Amazon VAT registration and help you deal with the translation, notarisation and apostille requirements for VAT.
Do I need to register for VAT in another EU country?
If you have signed up to Fulfilment by Amazon (particularly the pan-European option) and make a sale to a customer based outside the UK, then you will most likely need to register for VAT in that country. KPMG has designed a tool to help you work out if you need to register for VAT. If you are in any doubt, though, you should always consult a tax advisor.
How do I register for VAT in another EU country?
Unfortunately, there is no unified process of registration as the tax authorities in each Member State have their own procedures and rules about what documents they will need you to produce. In almost all cases, however, there will be some element of translation involved and possibly notarisation and the need for apostilles.
Who can help me with the registration process?
Broadly speaking, there are two options: the ‘do-it-yourself’ approach or engaging the services of a professional tax agent. Given the complexity, most businesses decide to engage the services of a professional. Amazon has teamed up with one such professional tax agent, Avalara, to offer sellers help when registering for VAT in France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Poland and/or the Czech Republic — the solution is called Amazon VAT Services and costs about €400 per country.
What documents will I need to register for VAT?
Whichever option you choose for the registration process, you will still need to supply certain documents yourself relating to your business. And, for countries where English is not the official language, these company documents need to be translated to register for VAT. Unfortunately, the list of documents varies from country to country. However, as a general rule, you will need to produce and translate your company’s articles of association, an extract from Companies House and your VAT certificate in order to register for VAT.
What is a sworn translation?
Although the definitive version of your business’ documents are the original English versions, the VAT authorities will only be able to understand them, and hence rely on them, if they have been translated by an official translator. In most European countries, there is a system of registration for translators; an officially-registered translator is called a ‘sworn translator’. Rest assured, if you ask Dot Comma to produce a sworn translation for VAT purposes, it will be accepted by the local tax authorities. Find out more about the different types of certification here.
How much will it cost to translate documents for VAT registration?
The costs are based on the number of documents and the number of words. In many cases, though, if your company has adopted model articles of association, you will soon be able to order these directly using our online system. Contact us for a quote.