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German delays Marketplace USt 1 TI Tax Certificate

  • Feb 22, 2019 | Richard Asquith

The German Bundesministerium der Finanzen has delayed to 15 April 2019 the requirement for online marketplaces to have captured their third-party sellers’ new Tax Certificates.

The marketplace USt 1 TI Tax Certificate confirms the VAT registered status of non-resident online sellers. From 1 March 2019, all non-EU sellers were to have these granted and passed to the marketplaces. Otherwise, the marketplace would be held liable for any unpaid VAT. The same requirement is being extended to EU marketplace sellers from October 2019.

However, due to the large influx of Certificate applications, the ministry as given the marketplaces an additional 15 days for non-EU sellers. However, the ministry does make it clear that applications should have been submitted by the sellers by 28 February 2019.

In addition to the Certificate, non-EU sellers must appoint a German-resident agent to accept and forward tax-related correspondence.

Sellers can follow the following steps to comply with the new requirements:

  • The seller must already be registered for VAT in Germany, either because of holding stocks there or having passed the German €100,000 distance selling threshold.
  • Whilst sellers below the German distance selling threshold do not require a Tax Certificate since they are not registered, their marketplaces may nevertherless insist on one. In this case, the seller would need to apply for a German VAT number, with an opt to tax at destination.
  • Complete form Ust TJ, which captures details of the seller’s: business; Steuernummer VAT number: any tax adviser details: appointed authorised agent (non-EU sellers); and marketplace accounts and seller ID numbers across all German marketplaces.
  • Submit the application to the appropriate German tax office for the seller’s country of residence. For example, Berlin for Chinese sellers.
  • A USt 1 TI VAT certificate is then issued, subject to the seller meeting the checks of the tax office. For example, if there is a history of undeclared sales on the marketplace?
  • Submit the USt 1 TI certificate to the relevant marketplaces, typically within the seller’s login admin section.
  • Note: A USt 1 TI certificate is valid for three years. Sellers must reapply and upload to marketplaces a renewed USt 1 TI after this.

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VP Global Indirect Tax
Richard Asquith
VP Global Indirect Tax Richard Asquith
Richard Asquith is the former VP Global Indirect Tax at Avalara
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