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Germany VAT certificates for EU sellers Oct 2020

  • Germany
  • Sep 7, 2019 | Richard Asquith

From 1 October 2019, EU online retailers selling to German consumers must provide any marketplaces they are active on with a VAT Certificate (Bescheinigungen nach § 22f UStG). This can be obtained from the German tax office, Finanzamt. The certificate verifies their German VAT registration, and that they are up to date on compliance.  Non-EU sellers have been required to provide the same certificates since 1 March 2019.

Marketplaces operating in Germany are required to hold these VAT Certificates, or block the seller. Failure to do so will make them liable for any unpaid VAT.

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 nevertheless 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.

Latest German news

German delays Marketplace USt 1 TI Tax Certificate

February 22, 2019

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.

EU VAT and tax veto review

January 25, 2019

The European Commission (EC) has proposed switching from unanimous to majority voting on EU VAT and other tax policies.  The aim is to progress fiscal reforms which face immovable opposition from just a limited number of member states. 

German marketplace F22 Tax certificate

January 17, 2019

The German tax authorities will require sellers using online marketplaces to register for a new tax compliance certificate, ‘F22’. It will apply to non-EU sellers from 1 March 2019, and EU sellers from 1 October 2019.

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 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.
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