Germany — Value-added tax (VAT)
|General VAT Rate||Other Rates||Local Currency|
Germany's general VAT rate is 19%, with other rates including 7% that can apply to certain transactions. The Value-added tax (VAT) is administered by the German Ministry of Finance (http://www.bundesfinanzministerium.de) in Berlin.
Visitors to Germany can qualify for a VAT refund on all purchases made for export - learn more about Germany VAT refunds here.
Germany has a reduced VAT rate of 7% on the following items: Some foodstuffs; water supplies; medical equipment for disabled persons; some public transport; books; newspapers and periodicals; admission to cultural events; writers and composers; agricultural supplies; hotel accomodation; admission to sports events; social services; medical and dental care.
Germany is a member of the European Union (EU) Member State trading bloc, which may affect international VAT collection and regulations.
Germany's consumption tax is called the Value-added tax (VAT), locally known as Umsatzsteuer/Mehrwertsteuer, which was introduced in January 1968.
Germany VAT rates for 2020
- Exempt and exempt with credit
Germany VAT number format
Businesses in Germany that are required to collect tax will be issued an identification number. Tax identification numbers can be verified with the German Ministry of Finance, and will follow a certain format. The VAT number format is DE123456789 (DE+9 digits).
Germany VAT return periods
Businesses in Germany that are required to collect tax from consumers must file regular tax returns with the German Ministry of Finance in Berlin. Germany's VAT return periods are:
Monthly or quarterly and/or annual returns
Germany Value-added tax (VAT) Thresholds
These are the revenue thresholds at which businesses in Germany are required to start collecting and remitting tax.
- Distance selling
- Intra-Community acquisitions
Recovery of VAT by non-established businesses
Non-established businesses are small, unincorporated businesses that sell taxable goods and may consist of a single individual, or several. Non-incorporated businesses in Germany are required to collect taxes from the consumer.
Germany VAT Refunds
Germany has a VAT refund program that allows tourists and others to receive a refund of any Germany VAT paid on goods purchased in Germany that are being exported from the country.
The minimum purchase amount needed to claim a VAT refund is €25.00 Euros (which would yield a VAT refund of about €4.75). SalesTaxHandbook has detailed information about Germany's VAT refund program:Learn More About Germany VAT Refunds
Germany Tax Sources & Citations
- EN: Germany Value Added Tax
- RU: НДС Германия
- CN: 德国 增值税
- Germany German Ministry of Finance (http://www.bundesfinanzministerium.de)
- Ernst & Young global VAT tax study, Germany (updated 2020)
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