German marketplace USt 1 TI Tax Certificate
- EU VAT
- 17 January 2019 | Richard Asquith
The German tax authorities will require sellers using online marketplaces to register for a new Tax Certificate, ‘USt 1 TI’, which confirms the seller is up-to-date on their VAT compliance.
The Certificate will initially be in paper format, and valid for three years. Once a new digital format is introduced, the issued paper formats will then only be valid for six months.
The requirement will apply to non-EU sellers from 1 March 2019, and EU sellers from 1 October 2019. Marketplaces are required to collect and hold these certificates for any traders on their platforms that are German VAT registered. Failure to do so will make the marketplace liable for any unpaid VAT of the seller.
VAT certificate application
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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