In Directive no. 2006/112, Article 14-bis was introduced, which dealt with two specific cases when digital platforms (Marketplace) are involved in online sales.

The objective pursued with the introduction of this rule is to ensure the taxation of sales in which they are involved as “facilitators”, platforms, portals or similar means (Marketplace), involving the latter in the collection of tax, considering them, on the basis of a legal fiction, as the persons who make the purchase and sale of the goods subject to the “facilitated” operations. Digital platforms, even if they are limited to facilitating sales, may under certain conditions be called to pay VAT instead of the seller: in this case we speak of deemed supplier (alleged seller).

Art. 14-bis, in fact, says that it is considered buyer/ seller of goods, the subject Marketplace that facilitates the following transactions:

  • distance sales of goods imported from non-EU countries or territories with shipments of an intrinsic value not exceeding 150 euro, even if the seller is an enterprise established in the EU;
  • sales in the European Union by a taxable person not established in the EU to a non-taxable person.

In any case, digital platforms, even when they are not considered to be presumed sellers, are required to keep track of the transactions they facilitate. They will have to keep information about the company using the platforms, the goods sold, or the services provided.