Germany Tackles Missing Trader Fraud
In Germany, plans were announced in the draft Annual Tax Act 2020 to impose the VAT reverse charge mechanism on supplies of certain telecommunication services by resellers, following an increase in missing trader fraud related to the provision of voice over IP (VOIP) services.
According to the Annual Tax Act 2020, the fraud involving VOIP services typically centers on sales made by a German company to another Germany company that then resells the services to a foreign business. In the fraud scheme, the reseller does not remit the VAT collected to German authorities from the onward supply, while a refund may be sought by the first company in the supply chain.
Under the proposed change, from January 1, 2021, the recipient of the supply must account for the VAT due on the supply through its VAT return, instead of paying VAT to the supplier. The recipient may also recover that VAT amount as input tax, subject to the normal rules for claiming credit.
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