Home » French “dropshippers” escape VAT thanks to a loophole in the law

French “dropshippers” escape VAT thanks to a loophole in the law

by drbyos


Scams, interminable delivery times, defective customer service, poor quality products… Criticisms abound on “dropshipping” sites, these online stores that sell, without clearly displaying it, goods shipped directly by Chinese wholesalers. To this bleak picture is added another bleak reality: some French “dropshippers” manage to evade VAT legally, by taking advantage of a loophole in the law, as discovered by The world.

However, the rule seems clear: since July 1, 2021, a European directive requires all e-merchants to pay 20% VAT on their sales. A new framework supposed to bring order to the “jungle” of e-commerce, where fraud was legion due to the ambiguous status of intermediary platforms such as Amazon and Aliexpress.

What is “dropshipping”?

It is an online sales model without stock. Where a shop orders goods from a supplier and then sells them to a customer, the “dropshipper” waits to make a sale before placing an order with his supplier, and has the products delivered directly to the customer. Requiring little investment, this model attracts many e-merchants, sometimes amateurs, who make significant margins by selling on their site products actually ordered from Chinese wholesalers such as Aliexpress.

Read the survey: Becoming rich on the Internet without doing anything: the mirages of “dropshipping”

But an open secret has been circulating for several months in the world of “dropshippers”: a shrewd accountant has found a way to escape VAT… with the blessing of the tax authorities. Reduced taxes, inflated profits, attractive prices, legal certainty: this is enough to arouse the interest of these online sellers without stock, who are struggling to survive in an ultra-competitive universe.

“It’s perfectly legal”

The accountant in question, Amine Tber, is a well-known figure in the small world of “dropshipping”. With the help of an influence agency, at the beginning of the year he paid for a series of advertorials in several prestigious media, from Figaro to BFM-TV, to present his firm Excilio as the “French leader” e-commerce accounting expertise. Dressed in a crisp black suit, he also tours influencers and online training to promote his miracle solution. “Are there ways to avoid paying VAT? In “dropshipping”, yes, if we do things well », he asserts in a professorial tone during an intervention in the training of the “dropshipper” star Yomi Denzel. Only one condition: to pay a few thousand euros to offer his services and those of the tax lawyer Marie-Anne Tchoudjem, who takes care of the legal aspects.

“It’s perfectly legal, there’s no doubt about it”ensures the Monde Amine Tber, who highlights his « doctorate and “dropshipping” » and the “two years of research” which would have enabled him to find this “tax loophole, or whatever you want to call it”. “There are lawyers who understand things that are not written black and white in the law…”, loose the accountant. His argument is as follows: the European text that defines commercial intermediaries subject to VAT targets sites that bring a French buyer and a Chinese supplier into contact. However, in his eyes, the “dropshipper” does not fit into this definition, since he is content to order the supplier to deliver a good to the buyer, without ever putting them in direct contact.

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