VAT in Germany

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Germany’s VAT framework originates from the EU VAT Directive and was codified in the 1980 Value Added Tax Act (Umsatzsteuergesetz (UStG)) along with the VAT Implementation Regulation (Umsatzsteuer-Durchführungsverordnung (UStDV)).

The German Value Added Tax Act (“VATA”) aligns with the broader EU VAT system. Consequently, the European Court of Justice’s rulings play a pivotal role in shaping the interpretation of the Value Added Tax Act.

Everything you need to know about VAT in Germany such as VAT Registration, Returns, Tax Representation (if applicable), and your legal duties in Germany, is conveniently located right here!

VAT guides

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Introduction to VAT in Germany


VAT is a tax applied to most B2B and B2C trading across all EU member states and many other countries. For seamless cross border trade, it’s crucial that businesses ensure their VAT registrations are up-to-date and meet their VAT requirements both accurately and punctually. Find all you need to understand about VAT registration, VAT returns, fiscal representation (when relevant), and your legal responsibilities in Germany in this comprehensive guide.

Scope of Taxation

VAT is applied to the subsequent transactions:

  • Provision of goods or services in Germany by a taxable individual.
  • Intra-Community acquisition of goods by a taxable individual from another EU Member State.
  • Reverse-charge supplies, encompassing both services and goods necessitating installation.
  • Self-supply of goods and services by a taxable individual.
  • Item imports from regions outside the EU, irrespective of the status of the importer.


Taxable persons include:

• Independent entities who carry out economic activity.
• Non-commercial entities such as public bodies carrying out an economic activity of commercial value.

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Germany VAT information

Tax Authority German Ministry of Finance
VAT in local language Umsatzsteuer/Mehrwertsteuer (USt-IdNr.)
Currency € Euro
VAT number format


DE+9 digits
VAT rates


Standard 19%; Reduced 7%
Zero-rated (0%) and exempt
Established None
Non-established None
Intra-Community acquisitions EUR 12,500
Intra-EU Distance sales and electronically supplied services to consumers (OSS) EUR 10,000
VAT Group Applicable with certain conditions to be met.
Voluntary Registration Allowed under specific criteria
Recovery of VAT by non-established businesses Yes
Compliance Returns and Deadlines
VAT Return 10th day following the end of the filing period
Frequency Monthly, Quarterly, and Annual Returns
European Sales Listing 25th day following the end of the filing period
Intrastat 10th day following the end of the filing period
Electronic Invoicing While electronic invoicing is optional for businesses under Article 14 of the German VAT Act, it is mandatory for business-to-government (B2G) transactions under the E-Government Law.

Last Updated: 27/09/2023



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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