EU VAT reporting – How to get the data for your MOSS tax return
When are my MOSS VAT returns due?
If you collect VAT from customers in the EU then you must submit a VAT return on the 20th of the month following the end of each quarter (for example, the 20th of April for the period from January-March). We recommend that you do this using the centralised Mini-One-Stop-Shop (MOSS) system which allows you to register for European VAT (wherever you are in the world) and then submit a single tax return and payment for the entire EU.
This article explains how to get the information for your MOSS return. There’s a choice of 3 methods, so choose the one that best fits your situation:
- Method 1 – Use the EU VAT summary report (easiest option) Choose this method if your store’s main currency is the same currency that you use for the MOSS VAT return.
- Method 2 – Third party accounting system Choose this method if you’ve added details of the VAT collected for each country to a third party accounting system such as Xero, Sage or QuickBooks.
- Method 3 – Use the EDD Payments report Choose this method if your store’s main currency is different from the currency used for your MOSS VAT return and you don’t use a third party accounting system.
Method 1 – Use the EU VAT summary report
The Easy Digital Downloads EU VAT plugin provides a report summarizing all the VAT collected. The data is provided in the same format that you need to input into your MOSS tax return, making it extremely quick and easy for you:
- Go to Downloads → Reports → Export.
- Scroll down to the ‘Export EU VAT Report’ section.
- Select the start and end dates for the period that you are reporting on (this will normally be a 3-month period) and click ‘Generate CSV’. This will download a CSV file to your computer.
- Open the CSV file using any spreadsheet software, such as Microsoft Excel, Pages or Google Sheets. This will display the data that you need to input into your MOSS VAT return, separated by country.
What is in the report?
The EU VAT report includes the following information for each country, which matches the data that you need for your MOSS return:
- Standard VAT rate
- Value of Items (Excluding VAT)
As you can see from the following screenshots, the data in the exported CSV file matches the data on the MOSS VAT return. (This example is from the UK MOSS service, but is similar for whichever EU country you register for VAT with.)
A warning about currencies
This report is provided in the currency selected under Downloads → Settings → General → Currency – even if you use a multi-currency plugin. This is because the price information for each payment is saved in your main currency (even if you use a multi-currency plugin), so reports are always in that currency. If your main currency does not match the currency that you need to submit your MOSS VAT return in, then you should use a different method.
Why doesn’t the report include the tax collected for my own country?
If you are in the EU, then you will notice that the report does not include details of the tax collected for your own home country. For example, if you have selected your country as ‘United Kingdom’ on the Easy Digital Downloads EU VAT plugin settings page, then UK tax will not be included in the EU VAT report.
This is because the report provides the information that you need for your EU VAT tax return, and you should not include tax for your own country in this return. Instead, you should report the tax collected from customers in your own country on your local tax return.
Method 2 – Generate a report from your accounting system
Many people use Easy Digital Downloads alongside an electronic accounting platform such as Xero, QuickBooks or Sage. If you add all your sales (including the tax collected and details of the customer’s country) to a separate system – either via manual import or by integrating your accounting system with EDD – then you can use this system to generate a report listing all the EU VAT that you collected during a specific period. You can use this report to create your quarterly MOSS return.
For instructions on how to generate MOSS VAT reports using this method, please consult the documentation for your chosen accounting system.
Method 3 – Export the data from Easy Digital Downloads
You can use the Easy Digital Downloads payment export to get the information you need for the MOSS VAT return.
Since you will be downloading each payment individually, it is possible to add the correct exchange rate for each day and use it to convert the payments into the appropriate currency for your MOSS VAT return:
- Go to Downloads → Reports → Export.
- In the ‘Export Payment History’ tool, select the dates for the period for which you need to submit a tax return – for example, 1st October 2019 to 31st December 2019. Click the button to download these payment records for ‘All statuses’.
- This will save a CSV file to your computer. Open it using any spreadsheet software (e.g. Excel, Numbers or Google Sheets).
- Reformat the spreadsheet as follows (for instructions on how to sort columns etc., please see the documentation for your spreadsheet software):
- Delete all the columns apart from ‘Country Name’, ‘Amount’, ‘Tax’ and ‘Date’.
- Sort the spreadsheet by the ‘Tax‘ column and remove all records where 0 VAT was paid, as you don’t need to report on these.
- Sort the spreadsheet by the ‘Status’ column and delete any statuses that you don’t need to report on. For example, you should remove ‘refunded’, ‘abandoned’ (if you are using an abandoned cart plugin), ‘failed’, ‘cancelled’ etc. If you are using the Recurring Payments extension then you should keep all payments with the ‘complete’ and ‘edd_subscription’ statuses because new sales and renewal payments should be included in your EU VAT tax return.
- Next sort the spreadsheet by the ‘Date’ column.
- Add 3 extra columns: ‘Exchange Rate’, ‘Amount in €’, and ‘Tax in €’ (replace € with whichever currency you use for your MOSS returns).
- Get the currency for each date from an exchange rate website such as https://www.xe.com.
- Create a formula that will populate the ‘Amount in €’, and ‘Tax in €’ columns using the correct exchange rate for that day.
- Now re-sort the spreadsheet by ‘Country Name’.
- If your company is based in the EU – Delete any payments from customers in your own country, because you will be submitting a separate tax return for this and don’t need to include it in your MOSS return. (For example, if you’re in the United Kingdom then you should remove any UK sales and submit this on your UK tax return instead.)
- Insert a new row between the payments for each country.
- Now use your mouse to highlight the ‘Tax in €’ column for all the payments relating to the first country in the table (e.g. Belgium). Use the ‘SUM’ function to calculate the total price and VAT collected for that country in the appropriate currency. This is the information that you need to enter on the MOSS VAT return.
Click here to download a CSV spreadsheet containing sample data exported from Easy Digital Downloads for the purposes of a MOSS return. We have removed data and formatted this spreadsheet according to the above instructions, so you can see what the end result will look like. To keep it simple, we have not included any currency calculations in this spreadsheet.
In this example, we need to add the following entries to our MOSS EU VAT tax return (let’s assume that we didn’t collect tax from any of the other EU countries, and therefore don’t need to enter them onto the tax return):
- France – $464.40 gross total, $77.40 VAT
- Germany – $483.14 gross total, $77.14 VAT
- Italy – $381.86 gross total, $68.86 VAT
- United Kingdom – $3,208.44 gross total, $534.74 VAT
- Total tax to pay after submitting the MOSS return – $758.14
What happens if a country’s VAT rate changed during the period covered by my return?
EU countries normally change their VAT rates at the end of a reporting period, so this is unlikely to happen. If it ever does happen, then the report will show the latest VAT rate if it has changed. The amounts collected will be correct, so long as you kept the Easy Digital Downloads EU VAT plugin up to date.