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The ad hoc development of e-commerce policies for value-added taxes (“VAT”) has resulted in a hodgepodge of inconsistent tax regulations that vary widely by country. Recognizing the growing importance of e-commerce, the confusion resulting from current systems, and the magnitude of frequently forgone VAT revenue, many countries as well as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (“OECD”) have set out to clarify, systematize and coordinate VAT regulations. These changes, many of which have been or are being implemented in 2015, have significant implications for businesses with e-commerce operations. Understanding and complying with these VAT laws is important to success in international e-commerce.

Effective January 1, 2015, France now permits an optional value-added tax (“VAT”) reverse charge procedure. The announcement follows the successful implementation of the procedure in the Netherlands and Belgium, both of which have enjoyed greater levels of trade.