Amazon, Cdiscount, eBay or Wish… According to the ATTAC association, the French state is the victim of massive VAT fraud, resulting from the market places of these various sites. The shortfall would amount to several billion euros each year.
Amazon, Cdiscout, eBay or Wish hosts a marketplace on their respective platform, or marketplace in good French. This is a space where independent, professional or private sellers can sell their products or services, in exchange for a commission paid to the hosting site.
In addition, these sellers can take advantage of the functionality of these platforms, and the visibility they offer. In some cases, marketplaces even allow you to benefit from the support of goods storage and shipping. This relationship is generally beneficial for both parties. Take Amazon for example, sellers access the e-commerce giant’s ultra-rich customer portfolio, while Amazon can fill its catalog with products that do not directly belong to it.
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98% of sellers escape VAT
Only and according to a report by the ATTAC association, the VAT normally resulting from these marketplaces escapes the French State. According to ATTAC, this shortfall due to this VAT fraud amounted to 1.1 billion euros in 2019. How to explain such astronomical amounts? You see the problem that 98% of foreign sellers active on marketplaces are not registered for VAT in France.
In total and according to data from the Inspectorate General of Finance (IGF) published in 2019, only 538 independent sellers out of the 24,459 known are registered with the French public finances. ATTAC pushes the cloud by specifying that the shortfall is actually much greater than this billion euros.
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We explain to you. The association based its calculations on a series of audits carried out by the Court of Auditors in 2015 and 2016 on more than 200 foreign companies. 120 of them did not pay taxes and were forced to pay a total of 15.2 million euros in penalties, i.e. an average of 126,666 euros per company. ATTAC used this average to apply it to the 23,927 independent sellers not registered with the French public finances. Result, the shortfall for Bercy exceeds 3.02 billion euros.
As a reminder, Amazon is currently in the sights of the European Commission. According to the institution, the American giant spies on third-party sellers in the marketplace to recover confidential data and benefit its own products.