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Online Platform Operators as Sovereigns over the Ecommerce Sellers Selected by the German Legislator


  • Brettschneider, Jörg


The German law to combat VAT fraud and other tax regulations went into force recently. The German legislator aims to enforce German VAT law via a liability of platform operators (like Amazon and eBay). The consequences of this regulatory approach are a) that platform operators enforce the law more strictly in relation to the ecommerce sellers than required by the law, b) that legal uncertainty occurs and c) that the legal protection of ecommerce sellers is not clear. Background of the more strict enforcement is that platform operators want to avoid liability risks. The situation from the ecommerce sellers’ perspective is described and discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Brettschneider, Jörg, 2019. "Online Platform Operators as Sovereigns over the Ecommerce Sellers Selected by the German Legislator," EconStor Preprints 197795, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:esprep:197795

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    VAT; VAT fraud; Umsatzsteuer; ecommerce; online-Handel; Amazon; ebay; Steuerbetrug; Mehrwertsteuer; Gesetz zur Vermeidung von Umsatzsteuerausfällen beim Handel mit Waren im Internet; China; Germany; Haftung; Liability; UStG; Umsatzsteuergesetz; Finanzamt Neukölln; legal enforcement; electronic marketplace; Fulfillment by Amazon; Value Added Tax; Fulfillment; e-commerce; Marktplatzhaftung;

    JEL classification:

    • K34 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Tax Law
    • F60 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - General
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance

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