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Germany - Changes in the area of VAT
17-05-2010

The German Parliament has adopted the Act to implement EU Tax Standards and Amend German Tax Provisions

The German Parliament has adopted the Act to implement EU Tax Standards and Amend German Tax Provisions in order to bring the German law in line with the lastest changes in EU VAT legislation.

The German VAT Act (UStG) will be amended in and reflect following:

  • Recipient of services according to Art. 44 of the Directive (general rule) will have to account for VAT under the reverse charge mechanism in the period, when the services have been rendered to him, regardless if an invoice has been issued.
  • European Sales lists (ESLs) will be submittable on a monthly basis as a general submission period. Exceptions to the monthly filing period will be granted to taxable persons, who supply goods or services until certain threshold (until 31.12.2011 € 100,000 per quarter and from 1.1.2012 € 50,000 per quarter). Such taxpayers may opt to submit their ECSL on a quarterly basis.
  • German tax offices may issue new tax numbers and German EU VAT identification numbers (USt-ID number) at the same time, as the latter is required in order to report both goods and services on the ESL. Until Dezember 2009, the German EU VAT numbers were isued only by the Federal Tax office (Bundeszentralamt für Steuern in Sarlouis) based on a special request from the taxable persons, where they conducted intra-Community supplies of goods.
  • The VAT exemption valid for the postal services of German Post (Deutsche Post AG) may be extended to all other postal service provides, who ensure the universality of the primary postal service.