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German VAT fraud criticism

  • Nov 18, 2020 | Richard Asquith

The German’s state audit office has criticised the level of attention being given by the tax authorities based on the levels of online fraud.

A recent report by the audit office concluded no reversal in the numbers for online VAT fraud in Germany. Many of the measures that have been introduced, including marketplace obligations, are easily evaded. The office called out a slowness to adopt advance technologies and analytics to quickly identify frauds as they occur, rather than relying on historical VAT returns and statistical filing.

Germany reported €73 billion in online sales in 2019. It has been reported in the past there is just under €1 billion in online VAT fraud per annum. The latest European Union VAT gap estimate – the difference between expected and actual VAT receipts – put German’s VAT deficit at 8.6%.

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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 won International Tax Review's 2020 Tax Technology Firm of the Year. Richard trained as an accountant with KPMG in the UK, and went on to work in Hungary, Russia and France with EY.