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Understanding DAC 7: The Essential Guide to Digital Platform Reporting

Ruul Content

Business operations evolve each day. All thanks to innovative and convenient online marketplaces and platforms that have transformed how we conduct business. But there is a complexity many fail to recognize – taxation.

The rise of the digital economy has created a challenge for traditional tax collection methods, necessitating the implementation of frameworks like DAC7 to ensure fairness and transparency.

The European Union (EU) has introduced the DAC7 (Directive on Administrative Cooperation in Taxation) to address this challenge. This DAC7 directive established standardized digital platform reporting requirements across the EU.

The goal:

To even the playing ground between sellers and buyers on online marketplaces and platforms.

This piece looks into all you need to know about DAC7.

What is DAC7 and Why Does it Matter?

The DAC7 UK directive represents the shift happening in the EU tax regulations. And for a good cause.

Older tax collection systems, especially in the gig economy, were intricate owing to the decentralized nature of these businesses. So, the DAC mandates that all digital platforms in operation in the EU report specific seller information to the relevant EU authorities.

Seller name, address, tax identification number, and the paid totals or credited amount to the seller in a tax year are some of those data. Businesses also share the nature of the product or service.

DAC7 reporting matters since it enhances transparency in all online marketplace taxation transactions. It helps governments curb tax evasion and simplifies tax collection. It also evens out the taxation playing field of online business competitors, the traditional brick-and-mortar businesses.

With the DAC7 directive, online sellers cannot gain unfair tax advantages.

The Evolution of Digital Platform Reporting

The system in place today was never as sophisticated as it currently is. It is a result of past directives like the DAC1 and the DAC2. These two past directives’ focus was on tax authorities exchanging information. The DAC1 and the DAC2 required authorities to transfer information on taxpayers in various EU countries.

The DAC1’s focus was targeting information exchange on financial accounts. DAC2 focused on reportable intermediaries like specific digital platforms and online retailers.

The current DAC7 directive combines the two and introduces reporting obligations for individual digital platforms. This new system makes the entire digital services tax collection more efficient. DAC7 UK shifts the focus from indirect to direct reporting, fostering better seller activity data collection.

Key Requirements of DAC7

As with any other directive, the DAC7 has specific requirements for digital platforms. The following are the exact requirements:

Identification of Relevant Sellers

The directive mandates that all platforms implement procedures to identify sellers meeting the reporting threshold DAC7 sets. The directive sets thresholds based on the total sales value. Another threshold element is the number of transactions made within a stipulated time.

Seller Information Collection

The platforms should collect all the necessary seller information during the onboarding process. They should collect each seller’s name, address, tax identification number, and bank account information.

Reporting to Tax Authorities

The DAC7 directive mandates that online platforms submit reports annually to the relevant EU tax authorities. Platforms should include seller information alongside all translation details.

Benefits of DAC7 Compliance for Digital Platforms

Some sellers might be questioning how DAC7 compliance will impact their business. This is a valid concern, and here are some advantages if you comply with the DAC7 rules:  

For a Better Brand Reputation

You elevate your brand reputation when your digital platform complies with the DAC7 directive. Complying demonstrates that your brand upholds transparency and follows responsible business practices. It makes invoicing and payment systems like Ruul fully trust in your operations.

A reputable company fosters trust with users, regulators, investors, and all other stakeholders.

Reinforced Trust with Sellers

Since DAC7 evens the tax collection odds, all sellers trust the platform because of the model tax collection process. This reduces the risks of unfair competition from sellers who deliberately evade tax payments. This way, online businesses on these platforms build stronger relationships with their seller base. This encourages continuous participation and loyalty.

Reduced Penalty and Fine Risks

If a platform chooses not to comply, they face penalties and fines that tax authorities impose. However, when they comply, the platform reduces these instances. This safeguards the business’s financial well-being, avoiding reputational damage from non-compliance.

Improved Data Insights

Platforms must gather and arrange comprehensive seller data to comply with DAC7. Although this data consolidation can initially be an administrative headache, it can also be a significant tool. Platforms can employ seller data analysis to understand their user base, spot patterns better, and customize their offerings to serve their sellers better. This may result in enhanced platform performance, higher seller satisfaction ratings, and expanded business.

The Implications of DAC7 Reporting

DAC7 reporting has several implications for platforms. These are:

Compliance Issues

Enacting the new directive might take time, as there might be compliance issues. Implementing robust data collection and reporting systems may be challenging, especially for smaller platforms.

System Upgrades

All platforms may have to update their systems or develop entirely new ones because of the DAC7. These updates should accommodate the latest DAC7 data collection and reporting requirements that were not mandatory previously.

Improved Risk Management

Platforms can address potential non-compliance issues by identifying high-risk sellers. They do so by monitoring their activity. This protects the platform against penalties and safeguards its reputation.

Data Privacy Regulations

DAC7 compliance also mandates a careful look into data privacy regulations. One significant regulation is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Platforms should ensure they have a lawful basis for collecting seller information. They should also implement appropriate safeguards to protect this data throughout the reporting process.

Challenges and Compliance Issues

Even though DAC7 streamlines the tax collection process, it still challenges both platforms and the tax authorities. The following is an account of how each entity may face difficulties and compliance issues:


Platforms may face issues:

  • Authenticating seller data: Platforms with large databases face a massive issue with authenticating seller information. Some sellers may intentionally provide inaccurate information, while others use multiple accounts, further complicating the authentication process.
  • Obtaining up-to-date seller information: Online businesses change their information all the time. But they sometimes forget or disregard informing all the relevant parties. This gives rise to an issue of platforms using outdated information. This forces platforms to implement stringent verification processes to ensure data accuracy.
  • Disruptions during the integration process: Platforms typically use unique systems for data collection. However, in the wake of the new DAC7 directive, the new updates might cause some operations to stop. Workflow disruptions and the need for new staff training may arise.

Tax Authorities

Tax authorities also face challenges, such as:

  • Data harmonization: Because information will flow in from multiple platforms across the EU, ensuring consistency and standardization may be complex. Tax authorities must implement new standardization systems to crosscheck and authenticate this data.
  • Data management: Are you aware that there are thousands and thousands of online platforms per region? Imagine all that information streaming without a data management platform; it’s disastrous. Tax authorities must use data management systems to ensure proper data storage, analysis, and tallying.
  • Cross-border cooperation: Tax authorities across the EU states might not always agree on digital services tax collection. This poses a considerable challenge, possibly slowing down the enforcement of the DAC7 directive.

Future Trends in Digital Platform Reporting

The DAC7 directive is a significant step towards a streamlined tax collection process from different platforms. The good news?

It is just the beginning. You can be sure to see more sophisticated trends popping up to cater to digital platform reporting. Some of those predictions are:

Faster and further harmonization of the EU tax regulations

With time, the EU will likely continue introducing and implementing new regulations to address the changing economy. These new rules aim to cover all the loopholes the current system presents. These new rules will ensure a fairer tax-collecting environment for all businesses.

Focus on real-time reporting and data exchange

As technology gains more sophistication, so will tax collection. Tax authorities and platforms will soon acquire the tools and systems that allow real-time tax collection. Data exchange authentication may also become faster with time.

Standardized DAC7 forms

Due to its infancy, there still needs to be standardized reporting formats, which may change soon. In the future, these standardized reporting formats will simplify the process and reduce the administrative burdens of DAC7 compliance.

Cross-border DAC7 compliance

Expect a unified front on tax collection across the EU member states. The negotiations to find middle rounds will arise, paving the way for a cohesive agreement to implement the DAC7 directive.

DAC7 UK: A More Equitable Digital Economy

The DAC7 directive is necessary.

It creates a fairer playground for tax compliance for all traders, online and offline. Governments can also benefit from a streamlined tax collection process, which has been a menace.

However, implementing the DAC7 challenges both digital platforms and tax authorities. Both parties must grasp the requirements and implement compliance measures proactively. Both should also embrace the transparency the directive offers. They must also collaborate to facilitate faster implementation. This may result in the accessible onboarding of third-party invoicing and payment applications such as Ruul’s payment systems. If both entities do their part, digital platform reporting and online marketplace taxation will change forever.


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