Invoicing in Germany

Invoice Requirements in Germany

In Germany, individuals subject to tax are typically obligated to provide VAT invoices for goods and services provided to other taxable entities and legal bodies, encompassing exports and intra-community transactions. This duty often doesn’t pertain to VAT-exempt transactions. To validate a claim for input tax deductions or refunds under the EU’s refund programs, a VAT invoice is essential.

A VAT invoice is necessary to substantiate a claim for input tax deductibility or reimbursement under the EU refund schemes.

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Full and simplified invoices in Germany

All invoices should follow the same standards set by the German government in order to be admissible. Here is the underlying information an invoice must contain:

Full VAT invoice

  • Issue date.
  • Unique, consecutive invoice number.
  • Customer’s VAT ID (if they’re responsible for the transaction’s tax).
  • Full name & address of the supplier.
  • Full name & address of the customer.
  • Details of goods’ quantity & nature or description & scope of services provided.
  • Transaction or payment date (if it varies from the invoice’s date).
  • Applicable VAT rate.
  • Total VAT due.
  • Detailing of VAT due by rate or any exemption.
  • Per-unit cost of goods or services – excluding tax, discounts, or rebates (unless they’re part of the unit price)

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Simplified VAT invoice

  • Date of issue.
  • Supplier’s VAT identification number.
  • Type of goods or services supplied.
  • VAT amount payable – or the information needed to calculate it.
  • Clear and direct reference to the original invoice and the particulars being modified (found on a credit note, debit note, or any document regarded as an invoice).

Simplified invoices are permitted for sales of EUR 250 or less.


EU guidelines grant member states the autonomy to make country-specific decisions. For specific provisions adopted by each EU country, refer to the EU Commission’s website, where more details can be found.


Invoices should be issued within a six-month period. For intra-community deliveries and services subject to reverse charge by taxable entities within the EU, invoices must be produced within 15 days of the month when the goods or services were provided.

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Electronic Invoice

While electronic invoicing is optional for businesses under 14 of the German VAT Act, it is mandatory for business-to-government (B2G) transactions under the Article 4a of the E-Government Law.


Public entities may receive electronic invoices through various approved platforms, such as the Pan-European Public Procurement Online (PEPPOL) network or third-party providers, while other recipients may receive invoices through any practical method. Thus, there are no specific requirements for validation or reporting.


Last Updated: 28/09/2023



The information provided by Global VAT Compliance B.V. on this webpage is intended for general informational purposes only. Global VAT Compliance B.V. is not responsible for the accuracy of the information on these pages, and cannot be held liable for claims or losses deriving from the use of this information. If you wish to receive VAT related information please contact our experts at support@gvc.tax


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