Germany

Turnover threshold

35,000 EUR

Standard VAT rate

19%

Measurement period

Calendar year

VAT in Germany guide

VAT in Germany is compliant to the European Union regulations. However, the standard VAT Deutsch (in other words, German) rate and some of the taxation policies are set by the German government. Most companies selling their goods or services in the country need to be VAT registered and have a VAT number Deutsch tax authorities issue. Please find everything about the German VAT in the article by 1StopVAT.

Registering for VAT in Germany

Registration to get a VAT number Deutsch (German) companies need to carry is obligatory after a company exceeds €22,000 taxable turnover in the last 12 months. However, foreign-run businesses that have a branch in Germany (except for online sellers) need to sign up for VAT Germany right after they make the first taxable sale. Foreign event organisers and companies that hold stocks in Germany-based warehouses and sell their goods to German customers are also subject to VAT. VAT number Deutsch (German) is required from distance sellers that have exceeded the threshold of taxable sales above 100,000€.

Small companies whose turnover in the previous year was below 15,000 and is not planned to exceed 50,000 in the upcoming year can avoid registering for VAT.

To receive a VAT number Germany operating businesses need to reach out to the local tax office and fill in a form called Fragebogen zur steuerlichen Erfassung. After registering for VAT number Germany operating companies must wait for 4 to 6 weeks until the number is issued and the registration process completed. If the company has not registered in time, it has to begin charging VAT from the moment of exceeding the registration threshold.

Germany VAT rates

The standard VAT tax in Germany is 19% of the sales value. Like in many other countries, Germany also facilitates a reduced VAT tax rate applied to a variety of goods and services, including some of the food items, water supplies, medical equipment, passenger transportation and similar. Reduced VAT tax Germany authorities set is 7%. Services that include intra-community and international transportation are subject to 0% VAT.

If you need to charge German VAT for your sales, you can use a German VAT calculator to calculate the final price. VAT calculator Germany can be found online and may also be useful when a person needs to apply for a VAT refund. 

German VAT for digital service providers

In case of digital services, B2B telecom services or broadcasting services, the place of supply is the where the recipient is located. No VAT Deutsch (German) should be charged, and reverse charge applies unless the supplier and customer are both established in Germany. For digital services, telecom services or broadcasting services supplied in a B2C context please refer to the section on the Mini One-Stop Shop below for more information.

Mini One-Stop Shop

The optional simplification measure called the “Mini One-Stop Shop” (MOSS) with respect to digital services, telecommunication services and broadcasting services supplied in a B2C context. The supply of these services is generally considered as taking place in the Member State of the customer, not the Member State of the supplier.The MOSS scheme allows all taxable persons supplying digital services, telecommunication services or broadcasting services to nontaxable persons in EU Member States in which they do not have an establishment, to account for the VAT due on those supplies via a web portal in the Member State in which they are identified. The MOSS allows qualifying taxable persons to avoid registering in each Member State of consumption. The MOSS simplification is available both for taxable persons established in the EU and outside the EU. The MOSS generally mirrored the scheme that was in place for non-EU established suppliers of electronically supplied digital services, telecommunication services or broadcasting services supplied to final consumers. Persons already registered under the pre-existing scheme for electronically supplied digital services, telecommunication services or broadcasting services, should retain their existing individual VAT identification numbers for the purposes of the MOSS.

Late registration penalties

No specific penalty applies to late VAT registration in Germany. If, as a result of the late registration, a taxable person submits VAT returns belatedly, late-filing penalties may apply. Penalties are also charged for any late payments of VAT. In addition, late filing and late payment of VAT may be regarded as a tax fraud. 

Late-filing penalties may be assessed up to 10% of the VAT due, and late-payment penalties amount to 1% of the VAT due per month.

In the case of a voluntary disclosure to prevent punishment of tax fraud, a surcharge applies as follows:

  • 10% of the tax amount if the respective amount exceeds EUR 25,000 up to EUR 100,000
  • 15% if the amount exceeds EUR 100,000 up to EUR 1 million 
  • 20% if the amount exceeds EUR 1 million