When do I need to register for VAT in Germany?
Are you not sure whether you are liable for VAT in Germany? If your company is located in an EU member state other than Germany, then only two factors are relevant for you as an online seller that make you liable for VAT in Germany:
1. Storage in Germany and 2. Reaching the VAT delivery threshold limit.
Storage in Germany
As soon as you store goods in Germany, you become liable to pay VAT there and a VAT registration Germany is mandatory.
One of the main reasons why online sellers have to register for VAT in an EU country is because they are storing goods on site. Storage in another member state makes registering for VAT mandatory.
If you store goods in Germany, you have to make a VAT registration in Germany. This regulation also applies to the storage of goods in Amazon’s fulfilment centers.
For example, if you store your products in Germany, the Czech Republic and Poland with the “Central Europe” FBA programme, you must also register for VAT in these three countries and declare and pay your tax there in future.
VAT Threshold Limit
You need to register for VAT in Germany when your turnover of sales to Germany within a year is higher than €100,000
In addition to storage of, it is mainly reaching the VAT registration threshold of a country which requires sellers to register for VAT in additional EU countries.
This VAT threshold is a limit which is set individually by each country, above which local VAT registration becomes necessary. How do you reach this limit? For this, the turnover from exports to the target country within a calendar year is considered. In Germany, the VAT delivery threshold is €100,000.
Example: If a seller who is registered for VAT in France sells to Germany, he must register for VAT in Germany as well as soon as he is about to sell goods worth more than €100,000 from France to Germany within one calendar year.
Do any of the above scenarios apply to you? Do you need to register for VAT in Germany or should you have done so in the past? No need to worry! Contact us and we will take care of the VAT registration, all future tasks and ensure that you can sell compliantly to and from Germany. Check out all our services
New VAT regulations as of 01 July 2021
Storage as another reason for having to register for VAT remains.
How to register for VAT in Germany?
By reaching or overstepping the delivery threshold or storing goods within the German borders, a German VAT ID becomes mandatory. To avoid trouble with the German tax system, you should take care of this matter as early as possible and register for VAT in Germany.
For the application of a VAT ID in Germany, you have to contact your local office of the “Finanzamt”, that’s what the German tax office is called. Simply find your local Finanzamt online and apply either online or by mail.. or simply in the hellotax VAT software.
What documents do you need to register for VAT in Germany?
- VAT certificate to prove the business is registered for VAT elsewhere in the EU, if appropriate
- Memorandum of Association (copy)
- Articles of Association (copy)
- An extract from the company’s national trade register
- Proof of the planned business (e.g., contracts or bills)
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the format of the VAT registration number in Germany?
(USt.-IdNr.) / Umsatzsteuernummer
DE + 9 characters
Which VAT rates are there in Germany?
In Germany, the standard VAT rate is 19% and it applies for most goods and services sold in Germany. There is also a reduced rate of 7% which applies for example for books or water supplies. Under certain conditions, a zero VAT rate can also apply (0%).
When and how often do I need to file VAT returns in Germany?
When and how often you need to file VAT returns in Germany depends on your annual turnover. The filing periods can be monthly, quarterly or annually. Clarify with your tax advisor which filing scheme applies to you.
How long does it take to get a German VAT number?
After all the documents are submitted to the authorities and the registration process is completed, it takes about 11 weeks until you receive your German VAT number. This long waiting time is related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the additional workload for the tax authorities.