7 Steps to Get an IOSS Number for Your Online Store
If you sell goods to customers in the EU, you need to know about the new Import One-Stop Shop (IOSS) scheme that came into effect on July 1, 2021. The IOSS is a simplified VAT collection system that allows you to charge and remit VAT at the point of sale, instead of having your customers pay it upon delivery. This can reduce delays, costs and confusion for both you and your buyers.
But how do you get an IOSS number for your online store? In this article, we will explain the benefits of the IOSS, the eligibility criteria, and the steps you need to take to register and use it.
What is the IOSS and why should you use it?
The IOSS is a voluntary scheme that applies to online sellers who ship goods valued at €150 or less from outside the EU to customers in the EU. Before the IOSS, these sellers had to either register for VAT in each EU country where they sold goods, or let their customers pay the VAT and any customs duties upon delivery. This could result in unexpected fees, delays and dissatisfaction for the buyers.
The IOSS simplifies this process by allowing you to charge and collect the VAT at the point of sale, based on the destination country of your goods. You then remit the VAT to a single EU tax authority through a monthly return. This means that your goods can clear customs faster and without any additional charges for your customers.
The IOSS also has benefits for your online store, such as:
- Increased customer satisfaction and loyalty
- Reduced administrative burden and compliance costs
- Improved cash flow and profitability
- Enhanced competitiveness and market access
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Here’s how to get started
How to get an IOSS number for your online store?
To get an IOSS number for your online store, you need to follow these steps:
1. Check if you are eligible for the IOSS
You can use the IOSS if you are an online seller or an electronic interface (such as a marketplace or platform) that facilitates online sales of goods from outside the EU to customers in the EU. The goods must be valued at €150 or less, excluding shipping and insurance costs. The goods must also not be subject to excise duties (such as alcohol or tobacco products).
2. Choose how you want to register for the IOSS
You have two options: you can either register yourself through an EU member state of your choice, or you can appoint an EU-established intermediary to register and act on your behalf. An intermediary is a person or entity that is authorized to handle your VAT obligations under the IOSS. If you are not established in the EU, you must use an intermediary, unless you are established in a country that has a mutual assistance agreement with the EU (such as Norway or Switzerland).
3. Complete the online registration form
Depending on your chosen option, you need to fill out an online registration form either on your own or through your intermediary. You will need to provide information such as your name, address, contact details, bank account details, and a description of your goods. You will also need to accept the general terms and conditions of the IOSS.
4. Receive your IOSS number
Once your registration is approved, you will receive a confirmation email with your IOSS number. This is a unique identification number that starts with “IM” followed by 12 digits. You will need this number to declare and pay your VAT under the IOSS.
5. Charge and collect VAT at the point of sale
After you get your IOSS number, you need to start charging and collecting VAT at the point of sale for your eligible sales to customers in the EU. You need to apply the VAT rate of the EU country where your goods are delivered, which you can find on the European Commission’s website. You also need to provide your IOSS number on your invoice or receipt, and indicate that the VAT has been paid and no further fees are due upon delivery.
6. Submit your monthly VAT return and payment
At the end of each month, you need to submit a VAT return and payment through the IOSS portal of the EU member state where you are registered (or where your intermediary is registered). You need to declare all your sales covered by the IOSS in a single return, regardless of how many EU countries you shipped to. You also need to pay the total amount of VAT due in one payment, in euros.
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7. Keep records of your transactions
You need to keep records of all your sales covered by the IOSS for at least 10 years from the end of the year when they took place. You need to store them electronically and make them available upon request by any EU member state where you do business.
The IOSS is a new scheme that can help you simplify your VAT obligations when selling goods online from outside the EU to customers in the EU. By getting an IOSS number for your online store, you can charge and remit VAT at the point of sale, and avoid additional fees and delays for your customers. To get an IOSS number, you need to check your eligibility, choose your registration option, complete the online form, receive your confirmation, charge and collect VAT, submit your monthly return and payment, and keep records of your transactions.
How to get an IOSS number
An IOSS number is a unique identifier that allows you to sell goods online to customers in the European Union (EU) under the Import One-Stop Shop (IOSS) scheme. The IOSS scheme simplifies the declaration and payment of value-added tax (VAT) in the EU on all goods sold from a distance by sellers from both within and outside the EU. By registering for an IOSS number, you can benefit from lower customs taxes and costs, faster customs clearance, and more transparency and compliance with the EU VAT rules.
How to register for an IOSS number
If you are a seller located within the EU, you can register for an IOSS number either directly through the IOSS portal of any EU member state or with an IOSS intermediary. An IOSS intermediary is a person or entity that is established in the EU and is authorized to fulfill your VAT obligations under the IOSS scheme on your behalf. You can find a list of IOSS intermediaries on the European Commission website.
If you are a seller located outside the EU, you must register for an IOSS number with an IOSS intermediary. You cannot register directly through the IOSS portal of any EU member state. The IOSS intermediary will act as your representative and will be responsible for ensuring that you adhere to the IOSS obligations, such as collecting, declaring, and paying the VAT to the tax authorities.
How to use your IOSS number
Once you have obtained your IOSS number, you will need to use it to make VAT declarations to the EU tax authorities on a monthly basis. You will also need to include your IOSS number on any waybill or invoice for business-to-consumer e-commerce shipments that are valued at 150 euros or less. This will indicate that the VAT has been paid or will be paid by you and that no additional VAT or fees will be charged to the customer upon delivery.
Some online marketplaces, such as Amazon, eBay, and Shopify, may offer their own IOSS numbers to merchants who sell products and goods through their platforms. In this case, you may not need to apply for your own IOSS number, but you should check with the marketplace provider first to see if they offer this service and what are their terms and conditions.
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