German EC Sales Lists (ESL)

If a German VAT registered business, resident or non-resident, is selling goods or services to other VAT registered companies in Europe, then an EC Sales List (ESL) return may be required.  These may also be known as recapitulative statements.  This is in addition to the regular German VAT return or German Intrastat.

When do German EU Sales List reports have to be completed?

If a German VAT registered business completes an intra-community supply, a sale to another EU VAT registered business of goods or services across the German border, then this may have to be reported in the ESL.  There is no reporting threshold.

When should German ESLs be filed?

ESLs are filed in Germany on a monthly basis for goods once sales go over €100,000 per annum.  Otherwise, it is quarterly filings for goods.  For services, the returns are filed quarterly.  The filing date is the 25th of the month following the reporting period (monthly/quarterly) end.

German ESL filings are made online.  There may be a fine of up to €5,000 for late or incorrect German ESL filings.

Need help with your German VAT compliance?

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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