The Modern Online Consumer

Gurpreet Sidhu Guest post by – Gurpreet is the founder of Cross-BorderVAT – a software solution which helps sellers meet EU VAT compliance legislation.  Let CBV take the pain away by collecting and collating your online sales, applying currency exchange rates, monitoring your sales across EU countries, normalising your data and working out your sales VAT for each EU country in a few minutes.

Is put simply a demanding consumer.  They are shopping online, from not just local domestic branded websites and e-marketplaces to choose from but now more than ever before are visiting international sites or are buying from third-party international sellers on e-marketplaces such as Amazon, ASOS or eBay.  They shop and pay in a multitude of currencies and expect a seamless tracked delivery experience no matter where they order from around the world.

The Problem

Businesses have stepped up to deliver the experience, with locally translated sites, prices in different currencies, choice in delivery methods etc.  However, compliance with EU VAT has never been so complicated, resource intensive and expensive.

The consumer experience through websites, e-marketplace platforms and an emerging trend of social network platforms enabling consumers to buy at the click of a button has evolved to a true omni-channel experience.  Merchants are fulfilling orders from their own domestic warehouses, as well as employing other third-party fulfilment warehouses in other countries around the world.  This leads to a host of problems when it comes to staying VAT compliant.

Hundreds of thousands of SMEs across Europe operate in this way and must employ expensive VAT consultancy agencies and accountancy firms to remain compliant.  VAT triggers such as the European Distance Selling Thresholds and storage of goods in different countries means that a VAT Registration must be obtained, and VAT Filings submitted per country, usually monthly.  Add to this the complication of reduced rated and zero-rated goods that are part of a merchant’s inventory.  The extra burden this places on SMEs is expensive.  To date an automated mass market solution to monitor and calculate output VAT on sales across Europe does not exist.


The CBV software as a service solution, automates the whole process, from collecting data through APIs to the VAT Output filing document.  It is a ccost-effectiveand easy way for SMEs to stay VAT compliant.  CBV has a network of partners that can apply and register EU and non-EU companies for VAT in any EU-28 country as well as file the returns with all supporting documents at a fraction of the cost currently on the market.  CBV is a one stop shop for all your sales/refunds VAT needs, no matter how you have structured your web and logistical operation.

Special VAT rates can be mapped to specific SKUs, varying across different EU-28 countries, saving the merchant considerable duplicity in work and hence sums which may have been lost to the tax revenue authority.  CBV software can also prepare EC Sales Lists and Intrastat reports, as well as any specialist reports required by different countries around Europe.  The power of the software means that all your data is in one place and easily accessible.

VAT reclaims to any EU tax authority can easily be proofed with robust evidence using the software’s reporting features.  Potentially saving merchants tens of thousands of pounds which may have been incorrectly paid.

Trial the CBV software for yourself and see for yourself how easy your VAT return can become.