Germany VAT Rates

Updated German VAT rate tables

A taxable transaction refers to the offering of goods or services that attract a VAT rate, even if it’s a zero rate. In Germany, those registered for VAT must apply the correct VAT rate when selling goods or services and remit the collected tax to the German tax authorities through a VAT submission process.

The prevalent VAT rate in Germany stands at 19%. A lower VAT rate of 7% is applicable to certain goods and services. Meanwhile, some services, like banking, health, and social work, are exempt from VAT.

View more in our comprehensive guide below.

VAT guides

Germany VAT Rates

Standard VAT rate

A standard VAT (Value-Added Tax) rate is the common rate that a country applies to most goods and services. While it covers a vast majority of items, there are exceptions. Essential items or certain specific goods and services might benefit from a reduced rate, as detailed below.
Rate Good or Services
19% This rate is applicable to most sales of goods and services and encompasses all products and services that are not subject to VAT rates.

Reduced VAT rates

There are goods and services that may qualify for a lower value-added tax (VAT) rate presented below and are subject to change:
Rate Good or Services
7% Reduced rate
  Foodstuffs such as bread, milk, meat, and vegetables (excluding luxury food items)
  Printed books (excluding e-books), newspapers, and magazines
  Certain pharmaceutical products, medical aids, and prosthetic devices
  Public transport services, including long-distance travel by bus and train
  Hotel accommodations (excluding certain ancillary services)
  Admission to cultural events, such as theater performances, concerts, and museums
  Copyright license or assignment
0% Zero rated products
  Intra- community supplies
  Processing of goods under the temporary admission procedure for subsequent export
  Supplies of specific goods that are stored under a VAT suspension arrangement in approved warehouses and related services
  Aviation-related services for air traffic control and navigation
  Cross-border transport of passengers
  Sales of gold to national banks
  Supplies of goods and services by the Federal Railway Company
  Catering services provided on international voyages by seagoing vessels
  Supplies to foreign military forces that operate within the framework of Common Security and Defense Policy
  Supplies to foreign military forces that are part of NATO and stationed in Germany or other Member States.
  Transport services for goods that are being exported, arranged by intermediaries on behalf of the supplier or the customer

Exempt From VAT

  Financial services such as provision of shares, insurance policies, investment fund management, pension schemes and exchange transactions involving virtual currencies.
  Supplies under Real Estate Acquisition Law such as Land, Buildings, Walls, Trees, Plants and Structures or natural objects attached to land.
  Health care services associated with auxiliary services provided by institutions
  Educational and training services provided by schools and universities
  A variety of social welfare and youth services
  Boarding services and temporary accommodation services for students and pupils
  Postal services such as delivery of letters and parcels, face-value stamps
  Race Betting and Lottery Law (e.g., lottery tickets); and
  Goods and services provided by registered charitable organizations

Selling into Germany?

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German VAT Rates & Covid 19

Numerous nations introduced temporary modifications to their VAT rates in response to COVID-19. VAT rate reductions on products and services sold by companies that were particularly hit hard by the pandemic’s economic fallout—such as the hospitality sector—were the most prevalent.


To learn more about the implications of COVID-19 in Germany, please visit our news section by Clicking Here



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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