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Germany VAT measures for coronavirus outbreak

  • Feb 16, 2021 | Richard Asquith

16 Feb - the due date of the annual VAT return is to be moved to 31 August from 31 March 2021 where they are prepared by an outside professional services advisor. This is the second delay of the final VAT return.

4 Feb - the reduced VAT rate of 7% for restaurants and catering services has been extended to the end of 2022.

4 Dec - the VAT reclaims deadline under the 13th Directive process for non-EU businesses has been extended again, this time to 31 December 2020.

3 Dec 2020 - the Federal Ministry of Finance has indicated that taxpayers heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic may apply for delays on their VAT payments into 2021. There will also be a suspension of fines and penalties on late 2020 VAT payments.

16 Nov - a 40-day delay on import VAT payments for December. Payment due 26 Feb instead of 16 Jan. VAT reclaims by EU and non-EU businesses may also be delayed with adequate explanation.

4 June - German VAT rate cut from 19% to 16% until 31 December 2020

23 April: Germany has reduced VAT catering food services from 19% to 7%. The classification from the standard rate to reduced rate will apply from 1 July until 1 July 2021. Take-away and delivered food is already liable to 7% VAT.

8 April: the 2019 annual VAT return deadline is postponed until 31 May 2020.

22 March: Germany has updated its VAT deferment offer during the COVID-19 crisis.

The Germany Ministry of Finance, Bundesfinanzministerium (BMF), has announced that businesses may apply for a delay on Value Added Tax payments until 31 December 2020.  Companies need only provide basic evidence of challenging trading circumstances to gain approval for a postponement. Follow Avalara’s live  global coronavirus Covid-19 VAT measures tracker.

A further delay beyond 2020 may also be requested, although the evidence hurdle is higher.

The BMF measure has been co-ordinated with the local states tax offices. These offices collect taxes on behalf of the federal government.

The deferment offer applies not just to VAT, but also personal and corporate income taxes.

Explore more content like this in our Building for COVID-19 recovery hub


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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 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.
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