The German F22 Certificate is a form that online sellers in Germany need to show to the respective platform they are selling on since the beginning of this year. This way, proper VAT registrations and payment of taxes shall be assured. But will it already be withdrawn?
Last Updated on 2 October 2020
The F22 VAT Certificate
Since 1 January 2019, operators of online platforms (such as Amazon or eBay) are liable for the payment of value added tax in accordance with §22f of the German Value Added Tax Act (UStG) of the merchants active there.
To prove the proper registration, sellers need to provide the F22 VAT Certificate, orig. Bescheinigung nach §22f, to Amazon.
According to the first paragraph of this law, the operator of platforms like Amazon must observe strict recording obligations and demand certain information about the merchants:
- Name of the entrepreneur
- Tax number of the entrepreneur
- Sales tax identification number of the entrepreneur (if available)
- Start and end dates of the validity period
- place of departure or dispatch + place of destination
- Time and amount of sales
The §22f certificate must be applied for by the seller in order to comply with the new directive and then forwarded to the marketplace operator. This ensures that everything is in line with tax law and that the payment of the tax liability does not end up with the operator himself.
It is important to mention that you do not automatically receive this certificate as an online seller in Germany. The certificate must first be applied for at the responsible tax office, approved and then forwarded to the marketplace operator.
So what’s new?
Lately, the European Commission submitted a formal notice in which Germany is asked to withdraw the requirement for obtaining the F22 VAT Certificate as this paper requirement is thought to be an inefficient and disproportionate measure which destroys the free access to the German market – and this is a violation of EW law.
But isn’t it a good thing to ensure VAT compliance? Of course, but as we talk about trading within the EU, all regulations must correspond to EU directives. Further, with Quick Fixes for 2020 and big plans for 2021, a Europe-wide solution for ensuring VAT is preferred.
Shall I still apply for the F22-Form?
In a word: yes. Because even if there is a discussion about abolishing the F22 VAT Certificate, soaccording to §22F, so far there is only a discussion.
The legal requirement that has been active since the beginning of 2019 is still valid and non-compliance still leads to severe penalties and, in the worst case, to the closure of the account and exclusion from the platform.
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Perhaps there will be a new form that replaces the current f22 document, maybe it will simply get revised – one way or the other, nothing is certain yet and all previous regulations are still in force.
Consequently, online sellers still have to take care of getting the F22 VAT Certificate. We are happy to take care of that for you or to be of assistance whenever needed!