Since the beginning of 2019, operators of online trading platforms are liable for unpaid VAT duties. Sellers who are registered in Germany must provide the platforms with the certificate according to §22f of the German VAT Act (UStG.) – the F22 VAT Certificate.
Last Updated on 13 July 2020
What is the §22f VAT Certificate?
Since 01 January 2019, operators of online platforms such as Amazon or eBay have been held liable for the payment of VAT in accordance with §22f of the German VAT Act (UStG) for the online traders active there.
Paragraph 1 of the new regulation specifies that affected marketplace operators must comply with strict recording obligations and demand certain information on sellers:
- Name of the Company
- Tax number
- Vat Number
- Start and end date of the validity period
- Place of departure or dispatch + place of destination
- Date and amount of turnover
The so-called §22f certificate (German VAT Certificate) must be applied for by the sellers to comply with the new directive and then be forwarded to the marketplace operators.
This ensures that everything is in order in terms of tax law and that the payment of the tax debt does not end up with the operator himself.
Amazon VAT Certificate
The new law is intended above all to secure VAT revenues in e-commerce and no anluawful losses anymore.
In recent years there have been frequent failures and fraud and the state has lost vast amounts of tax revenue. Especially vendors from the Asian region have unfortunately often sold their goods on European platforms without a valid tax number and without paying VAT.
In Germany, the Federal Government hopes that by ensuring valid tax registrations in eCommerce, and by lawfully receiving the VAT, it will be possible to compensate for losses in the three-digit million range previously caused by this.
Since the operators of the online platforms are now held liable for tax losses, sellers in Germany should prove with this German tax certificate that they 1. are registered in Germany, 2. that they pay taxes properly and 3. can thus ensure that the operators themselves are not held liable in the end.
Who has to provide this tax proof?
All traders who sell on platforms such as Amazon, eBay, etsy, etc. (and have a VAT number in Germany) must submit the German tax certificate, the so-called Form F 22, to the respective operators in order to continue to sell.
It is therefore necessary to prove that a tax registration exists and, above all, that the VAT is paid properly.
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Anyone who sells his goods via his own online shop is not affected by the new changes.
What is to be done? What do I have to consider as a seller?
In the future, the application should be automatic, but this will probably not happen until the end of 2020. Until then, the certificates must be applied for manually. If this does not happen or happens too late, then in the worst case the trader can be permanently banned from the marketplace.
How and where can I get the 22f certificate?
First of all, 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.
In principle, of course, every online vendor is entitled to the granting of the 22f certificate, but the application is mandatory. This is what the application form looks like:
The application form is called USt 1 TJ. This must be completed and submitted to the tax office by post or e-mail.
You must provide each account name and seller ID for each marketplace you currently use or have used in the past. Your German tax consultant (or the hellotax team) will help you with the application.
All sellers who sell on online marketplaces such as Amazon or eBay and are or should be registered for tax purposes in Germany must ensure that they send the operators of the marketplace the certificate in accordance with §22f UStG in time.
Basically there are three steps:
- Apply for a certificate (USt 1 TJ),
- Receive 22f certificate,
- Submit certificate.
If we can help you receive the F22 VAT Certificate or if you have any further questions, please contact us.