Weekly tax updates 31-03-23

Corporate Tax Thursday –  New Reporting Obligations of Digital Platform Operators

Digital platform operators must collect information from sellers and transmit it to the tax authorities

  • At the end of last year, the German legislator transposed the EU Directive 2011/16/EU on improving administrative cooperation in the field of taxation (“DAC7”) into national law through the so called “Plattformen-Steuertransparenzgesetz” (PStTG).
  • The new reporting obligations have been in force since 1 January 2023.
  • They oblige platform operators to collect information on seller and the turnover generated through them and to report it to the federal tax authorities (“Bundeszentralamt für Steuern, BZSt).
  • At the same time, the individual EU member states are called upon to exchange information automatically. This is an attempt to contribute to more tax transparency and ultimately to fight tax evasion.
  • Digital platform operators are those whose platform enables sellers to connect with potential buyers and engage in so-called relevant activities. This includes, for example, the renting of real estate or means of transport (e.g., ridesharing) and the sale of goods. However, online portals that only enable the processing of payments, the listing or forwarding of users or the placement of advertisements are not affected by the reporting obligation.
  • Digital platform operators must collect information such as name, address and tax identification number of the seller and under certain conditions the holder and identifier of the financial account. In addition, platform operators must report per calendar quarter the turnover and activities achieved by each seller.
  • Transactions taking place on or after 1 January 2023 must be reported. However, the first report does not have to be submitted until 31 January 2024.
  • Just recently the German tax authorities have commented on the new law in order to support the appropriate implementation and to address practical issues in Germany (BMF, 2 February 2023, IV B 6).

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