Whether you’re a European or non-European company, establishing certain activities in Germany may mean you need to register for VAT. You can use a fiscal representative or tax advisor to draw up your VAT, Intrastat and ESL returns with total peace of mind in Germany.
If you deal with companies in Germany, you may be able to claim a VAT refund. German
Here you can find the specifics of VAT regulations in Germany, which work alongside the harmonised framework of the EU as explained in our guide to intra-Community VAT obligations.
|VAT introduced in Germany||1968|
|Nom de la TVA in Germany||Umsatzsteuer / Mehrwertsteuer|
|VAT ID format in Germany||DE999999999|
|Territories with special status in Germany||Island of Helgoland, Busingen|
VAT rates in Germany
|Standard VAT rate||19 %|
|Reduced VAT rate (1)||7 %|
|Reduced VAT rate (2)||n/a|
|Super reduced VAT rate||n/a|
|VAT parking rate||n/a|
|Zero VAT rate||no|
Thresholds triggering VAT reporting obligations in Germany
|Intrastat threshold at introduction||800 000 EUR|
|Intrastat threshold on dispatch||500 000 EUR|
|Distance selling threshold||As of 1st July 2021, the threshold is EUR 10,000 for all intra-Community distance sales.|
Reporting frequency in Germany
|Intrastat return||monthly depending on threshold|
|EC Sales List (ESL) return||monthly, quarterly|
|VAT returns||monthly, annually|
VAT-related penalties in Germany
|Failure to file a VAT return||Penalty of 10% of the VAT due up to a limit of EUR 25,000 per return.|
|Late payment of VAT||A fine of 1% of the VAT due per month of delay.|
|Failure to report ESL/DEB||A fine of 1% of the amount to declare in the ESL with a maximum of 2500 euros.|
Useful links on VAT in Germany
|Tax Administration in Germany||Tax authorities|
|Ministry of Finance in Germany||Ministry of Finance|
|Check a VAT number in Germany||Check a VAT number|
|EU VAT Guide||EU VAT Guide|
Les taux de TVA actuellement en vigueur in Germany sont les suivants:
Certain transactions in Europe may require VAT registration and the filing of VAT returns in Germany:
In Germany , as in other European Union countries, e-sellers must register for VAT:
In addition to VAT registration, e-traders must:
You may need a VAT number in Germany to fulfil your tax obligations in this country. Indeed, certain activities such as sales, purchases and subcontracting operations may require VAT identification. To check if your activities require VAT identification in Germany, use our VAT simulator or contact us.
VAT German is named Umsatzsteuer / Mehrwertsteuerand the VAT numbers in Germany have the following structure: DE999999999.
Registering for VATis a relatively simple formality compared to setting up a company, but in addition to obtaining a VAT number in Germanyyou’ll need to file periodic VAT returns to ensure your VAT compliance. Which is why we recommend foreign companies use a fiscal representative or tax advisor.
Companies with a VAT number in Germany must complete and submit VAT returns in Germany detailing all taxable income (sales) and expenses (costs), with the following periodicity: monthly, annually.
Failure to comply with the deadlines imposed by the German authorities for the deposit and payment of VAT will result in the payment of penalties . For this reason, it is recommended that foreign companies use the services of an agent or a tax representative.
These penalties are defined as follows in Germany:
In addition to VAT returns, companies may be required to provide the German authorities with Intrastat & EC Sales List returns:
In principle, a non-resident company in Germany can recover all or part of the VAT incurred on its expenses.
There are three different scenarios:
*This information is subject to change without notice.
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