Sales Taxation

Sales Taxation

Intra-EU Community Trade

The place of the intra-EU acquisition of goods is normally deemed for VAT purposes to be the place where the goods are located at the time when the transport to the person acquiring them is completed. VAT (in this case also refered to as acquisition tax or ''Erwerbsteuer'') is normally paid by the recipient in the EU country. The acquisition tax rate is the same as the VAT rate (19 percent and 7 percent). The recipient entrepreneur also has the possibility of deducting the paid acquisitions tax (input tax) in the advance VAT return (Umsatzsteuer-Voranmeldung).

There are numerous exceptions to the application of this rule. The most notable exceptions are: the recipient is VAT registered with a VAT identification number in the EU country of destination or the supplier does not hold adequate proof of the shipment of goods. In such cases, VAT is payable by the supplier in the EU country from which the goods are dispatched.

When the goods are moved from Germany to another EU country without any change in legal or/and economic ownership, German VAT is due unless proof of shipment is provided and the German entrepreneur is registered for VAT in the country of destination. This rule will apply even if the goods only remain in the ownership of the German entrepreneur for a short period of time in the country of destination and are destined for sale to a single customer in that country (i.e. consignment stock).


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