VATLive > Blog > Germany > German VAT changes - Avalara

German VAT changes

  • Jun 29, 2016 | Richard Asquith

German VAT changes

There have been a number of updates to the German VAT compliance regime. These include:

  • It has been confirmed by the Finance Ministry that non-residents may not reclaim via 8th or 13th VAT Directive refunds any input VAT on invoices relating to exports or intra-community dispatches if the conditions for zero-rating have been met.
  • The German tax court, BFH, struck down an attempt to recover input VAT on pre-incorporation expenses when the incorporation did not ultimately take place.
  • The Cologne tax tribunal (FG Koln) has confirmed that scans of copy invoices had been acceptable for an 8th Directive VAT reclaim. However, since December 2014, the German authorities now permit a scan copy of the original invoice only for a VAT refund.
Latest German news
Germany advances marketplace VAT liability bill
August 1, 2018

On 1 August 2018, Germany’s federal cabinet (Bundesregierung) approved a draft bill to oblige online marketplaces to capture key VAT data and compliance on third-party sellers on...
Germany warned on VAT refunds by EU
July 22, 2018

The European Commission (EC) has warned Germany that it must reduce its unreasonable restrictions on providing VAT refunds to non-resident businesses. In a reasoned opinion,...
Germany confirms marketplace liability for merchants’ unpaid VAT
June 27, 2018

Germany yesterday published the draft Annual Tax Act 2018, which includes making online marketplaces potentially liable for merchants’ unpaid VAT liabilities. This was agreed by federal...

VP Global Indirect Tax
Richard Asquith
VP Global Indirect Tax Richard Asquith
Richard Asquith is VP Global Indirect Tax at Avalara, helping businesses understand their compliance obligations as they grow globally. He can be contacted at: He is part of the European leadership team which this year won International Tax Review's Tax Technology Firm of the Year. Richard qualified as an accountant with KPMG in the UK, and went on to work in Hungary, Russia and France with EY.