Germany marketplaces liable for Seller VAT fraud 2019

  • Jun 3, 2018 | Richard Asquith

Germany marketplaces liable for Seller VAT fraud 2019

Germany is to make online marketplaces liable for any unpaid VAT by merchants on their platforms from 1 January 2019. The European Union estimates Germany's VAT GAP - the difference between VAT collections and forecasts - is €22 billion per annum

The new law will apply to German resident and non-resident e-retailers. To moderate any liabilities, the marketplaces may:

  • 1. Keep a record of the Sellers’ up-to-date German VAT registration certificate; or
  • 2. Have digital confirmation from the German federal tax authorities of the Sellers’accurate VAT compliance.

The largest online platforms in Germany include: Amazon; Otto; Zalando; Noteboosbilliger; Bonprix; MediaMarkt; Cyberport; Conrad; Tchibo; ad Alternate.

The draft law was agreed to by Federal finance ministers on 25 May 2018. It follows similar, joint and several UK VAT liability obligations on marketplaces introduced by the UK in 2018


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Researching German VAT legislation is the first step to understanding your VAT compliance needs. Avalara has a range of solutions that can help your business depending on where and how you trade. 

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Sales tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
VP Global Indirect Tax
Richard Asquith
VP Global Indirect Tax Richard Asquith
Richard Asquith is the former VP Global Indirect Tax at Avalara