VAT when you sell services to the EU

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Here you can find out what applies when you are going to sell services to other EU countries. Two main rules determine whether it is the buyer or you, as the seller, who has to report VAT.

Main rules for the sale of services

Main rule 1: Sale to companies

The buyer of the service has to calculate and report VAT. When you sell services to companies, the services are considered to have been performed in the country where the buyer is established or has a permanent presence.

Main rule 2: Sale to private individuals

As the seller you have to charge and report Swedish VAT. When you sell services to private individuals, the services are considered to have been performed in the country where the seller is established, for example in Sweden.

For certain types of services there are exceptions from the main rules. This applies, for example, to the sale of digital services to private individuals.

Read more about selling services to other EU countries on the Swedish Tax Agency’s website (in Swedish)

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Sale of services to companies

When you sell services to a company in another EU country, the buyer has, according to the main rule, to report both input and output VAT. As the seller, you also have to provide information about the sale and file a recapitulative statement with the Swedish Tax Agency.

It is often sufficient for the buyer to state their VAT number to enable you to sell without VAT. Then you can assume that the buyer is a company that is established abroad. If the buyer is not registered for VAT, they must show in some other way that they are a company.

If the buyer gives their VAT number, you should find out whether their VAT number is correct.

Check the VAT number on the Swedish Tax Agency’s website (in Swedish)

Exceptions to the main rule for companies

A number of services are considered to be performed in the country where you deliver the services. When you deliver a service like that, you may, as the seller, be obliged in some cases to charge VAT in the country where you have delivered the service. Such services can, for example, be:

  • property services
  • transport services
  • entry to events
  • restaurants and catering
  • work on products
  • brokering services
  • short-term rental of cars and other means of transport.

Read more about the exception rules on the Swedish Tax Agency’s website (in Swedish)

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Recapitulative statement

Have you sold services free of VAT in another EU country? Then you have to file information about the value of these services in a recapitulative statement.

Read more about recapitulative statements on the Swedish Tax Agency’s website (in Swedish)

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Sale of services to private individuals

If you sell services to private individuals in other EU countries, the main rule is that, as the seller, you have to charge and report VAT.

Exceptions to the main rule for private individuals

A number of services are considered to be performed in the country where you deliver the services. When you deliver a service like that, you may, as the seller, be obliged in some cases to charge VAT in the country where you have delivered the service. Examples of such services are:

  • property services
  • entry to events
  • restaurants and catering
  • cultural and similar services
  • brokering services
  • transport services
  • work on products
  • rental of cars and other means of transport.
  • digital services.

You can use the service called MOSS (Mini One Stop Shop) to report VAT on the sale of digital services to private individuals in the EU. It is voluntary to use this service, which has been developed to facilitate reporting of VAT.

Read more about and report VAT in the Swedish Tax Agency’s MOSS e-service (in Swedish)

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Invoicing regulations

Normally you have to follow Swedish invoicing regulations for VAT irrespective of whether you deliver the service in Sweden or in the country of the buyer. This applies irrespective of who the buyer is.

Read more about Swedish invoicing regulations on the Swedish Tax Agency’s website (in Swedish)

You may need to register for VAT in the buyer’ s country according to the exceptions for the sale of services to companies and private individuals in other EU countries. Then you may be obliged to follow that country’s invoicing regulations.

Reference on the invoice

When you sell services abroad, you may need to make a special reference on the invoice about what it relates to.

Read about voluntary and compulsory reference requirements in the Swedish Tax Agency’s brochure Content of the invoice – special information or reference (in Swedish)

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Bear in mind!

When you send an invoice abroad, it makes matters easier if you use a language that both you and the buyer understand. Some information must be given by law and the invoice should also contain payment information, for example your IBAN number and BIC/SWIFT.

Download an invoice template from Business Sweden’s website (in Swedish)

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The Swedish Tax Agency’s webinars

What should you bear in mind when you sell services to EU countries? How do you have to report VAT? You can get answers to questions like this by connecting to the Swedish Tax Agency’s webinars.

Read more and register on the Swedish Tax Agency’s website (in Swedish)

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The Swedish Tax Agency’s Tax Information

Contact the Swedish Tax Agency if you are going to sell services abroad. It is important that you are clear about what type of service is involved, where it will be delivered and who is the buyer. Then it is easier for the Swedish Tax Agency to answer your questions.

Tax Information at the Swedish Tax Agency answers all types of tax questions. Their telephone number is 0771-567 567. If you are calling from abroad the telephone number is + 46 8 564 851 60.

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