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FAQ - British and Northern Irish taxpayers

VAT return


When do I have to submit an annual VAT return or a monthly/quarterly VAT return and pay the VAT?



Date of submission

payment due date

monthly VAT return

- in the year in which the business is opened and in the following year (irrespective of the amount of VAT) or

- VAT in the previous year is higher than EUR 7,500 or

- Refund in the previous year is higher than EUR 7,500 (on request)

On the 10th day following the end of the respective month

(for example: The VAT return for the month of January is due on 10. February)

Payment: with submission of the VAT return


Reimbursement: Payment after approval of the tax office

quarterly VAT return

- VAT in previous year is lower than EUR 7,500 but higher than EUR 1,000

- Refund (on request)

On the 10th day following the end of the respective quarter

(for example: The VAT return for the month of January-March is due on 10. April)

Payment: with submission of the VAT return


Reimbursement: Payment after approval of the tax office

annual VAT return

(must be submitted each year, regardless of the amount of turnover)

Principle: 31. July after the end of the calendar year

(e.g. assessment period 2019 is due on 31. July 2020)


For tax advice:

28. February of the year after next (e.g. assessment period 2019 is due on 28. February 2021)

Payment: If the tax has been calculated differently from the monthly/quarterly VAT returns and an additional payment is to be made, the additional payment is due within one month after submission


Reimbursement: Payment after approval of the tax office



What do I have to do if there is an additional payment in the annual VAT return?


If the tax has been calculated differently from the monthly/quarterly VAT returns and an additional payment is to be made, the additional payment is due within one month after submission.

To which bank account should I transfer the additional payment?


Please always state your tax number, company name and the tax assessment period in the subject line. It does not matter which of the two bank accounts you choose.

The bank accounts of the tax office Hannover-Nord can be found here.

You also have the option of providing the tax office with a SEPA Direct Debit Mandate. You can find further information here

What happens if I do not pay on time?


If the VAT is not paid by the due date, a late payment surcharge of 1% of the tax arises for each month thereof.

You can easily avoid this by issuing a SEPA direct debit mandate to the tax office Hannover-Nord. You can find further details here.

How can I file a VAT return?


The free online portal ''Mein ELSTER'' (www.elster.de) is available for submitting VAT returns. To use it, a registration is necessary.

As part of the registration process, a letter is automatically sent to the company's stored address (never to the address of a receiving agent). It is therefore important that a valid address is stored with the tax office. The whole process can take 2 to 3 weeks.

Here you will find instructions for registration.

After a successful registration on ''Mein ELSTER'' where can I find the forms for the VAT returns?


After your login on www.elster.de you go to
Formulare & Leistungen (= forms & services)
Alle Formulare (= all forms)
Umsatzsteuer (= value added tax)
You click on Umsatzsteuervoranmeldung (= monthly / quarterly VAT return)

If you choose Umsatzsteuererklärung, you can fill out the yearly form.

Hints for online sellers for filling out the VAT returns from 01.01.2021 onwards

Since 01.01.2021 Great Britain is a third country due to the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union. This does not apply to deliveries from Northern Ireland to Germany!

Instead, the following applies since 01.01.2021:

  1. If you deliver goods from Great Britain to German private customers in the future, these deliveries must be declared as imports to German customs. German import VAT may incur in the process. Consequently, the delivery threshold of 100,000 euros (§ 3c UStG) no longer applies!



    1. Should you pay this import VAT for your customers (duty paid and taxed), then the deliveries from Great Britain to Germany are taxable in Germany and you can declare the paid import VAT to the German tax office as input tax..
      This (taxation in Germany) also applies if you as an entrepreneur deal with customs clearance and no import VAT is due (e.g. because the value of the goods is less than 22 euros).

      tax rate 19% tax rate 7% input VAT (import VAT)
      yearly return box no. 177
      (main form, page 6, line 38)
      box no. 275
      (main form, page 6, line 41)
      box no. 762
      (main form, page 9,
      line 124)
      monthly/ quarterly return box no. 81
      (page 4, line 20)
      box no. 86
      (page 4, line 21)
      box no. 62
      (page 5, line 57)

    2. If the German customer is responsible for the import VAT (customs duty unpaid), then your supplies are not taxable in Germany. Please contact the British authorities if you have any questions regarding the possible taxation of such transactions in the UK

  2. Should you want to use warehouses in the European Union in the future, you need an EORI number of a member state of the European Union for the import of goods. British companies have the possibility to request a German EORI number (assuming it does not have an EORI number in an other EU state).
    You can find the form for applying for an EORI number on the following website: http://www.formulare-bfinv.de/ffw/action/invoke.do?id=0870en_a (Application form: 0870en_a). The customs duty department will take approximately six weeks to issue the number.
    There is no need to have an establishment in Germany to receive a German EORI number.

    BUT:
    Distance sellers non resident in the EU will need to appoint an indirect representative, who is resident in the EU (e.g. a reliable customs agent or freight forwarder) to assist in handling imports into Germany.
    For further information please see: https://www.zoll.de/DE/Fachthemen/Zoelle/Brexit/Brexit-Zoll/brexit-zoll_node.html

    Please note that deliveries from a German warehouse are taxable in Germany - regardless of a delivery threshold:
    tax rate 19% tax rate 7%
    yearly return box no. 177
    (main form, page 6, line 38)
    box no. 275
    (main form, page 6, line 41)
    monthly/ quarterly return box no. 81
    (page 4, line 20)
    box no. 86
    (page 4, line 21)

    This is the current legal situation. The possibility of changes resulting from any agreements between the EU and Great Britain cannot be precluded.

    Whether and to what extent electronic marketplace providers (such as Amazon) will deal with Brexit must be clarified directly with them.

Hints for online sellers, who are trading via an electronic interface, for filling out the VAT returns from 01.07.2021 onwards

On 01. July 2021 new legal regulations have come into force as part of the digital packet, including those relating to online sales via an electronic interface. An electronic interface means an online marketplace, such as Amazon, eBay or Alibaba.


The new legal regulation about sales via an electronic interface affects entrepreneurs who are based in third countries (including Great Britain but excluding Northern Ireland) and use warehouses in the European Union (EU). It also applies to entrepreneurs who deliver goods with a shipment value of up to €150 from a third country to Germany.

From 01. July 2021 sales to customers via an electronic interface will be separated into two deliveries for VAT purposes. There will be your delivery to the electronic interface, and then also a delivery by the electronic interface to the customer. In Germany, VAT will only be charged on the delivery of the electronic interface to the customer. You do not have to declare any VAT on your delivery in Germany.


In the following you have an overview about possible situations that have to be declared in the upcoming VAT returns:


1.) Should you use a warehouse in Germany, the following transactions must be recorded in your VAT return, depending on the circumstances:

a) If the goods are imported from the third country to Germany and brought into a warehouse there, the import VAT paid can be claimed as input tax in the VAT return.

b) If goods are transferred into the German warehouse from another EU member state, a taxable intra-community acquisition must be declared in Germany. The VAT on the intra-community acquisition can be deducted as input tax.

c) If goods are transferred into a warehouse from another EU member state, a tax-free intra-community supply must be declared in Germany. This must also be reported to the Federal Central Tax Office in the recapitulative statements.

d) If the goods are sold to a German customer or a customer in another member state of the EU, the “fictional delivery” to the electronic interface is taxable in Germany but tax-free according to § 4 No. 4c of the German VAT code.

In the sales tax returns, the transactions shall be recorded as follows:

a) input VAT (import VAT)

b) Intra-community acquisition tax rate 19 %

b) Intra-community acquisition tax rate 7 %

yearly VAT return

box no. 762
(main form, page 9, line 124)

box no. 781

(main form, page 7, line 82)

box no. 793
(main form, page 7, line 83)

monthly/ quarterly VAT return

box no. 62
(page 5, line 57)

box no. 89

(page 4, line 34)

box no. 93

(page 4, line 35)


b) input-VAT (intra-community acquisition)

c) Intra-community supply

d) tax-free supply

yearly VAT return

box no. 761
(main form, page 9, line 123)

box no. 741
(main form, page 7, line 63)

box no. 237

(main form, page 7, line 68 and 71)

monthly/ quarterly VAT return

box no. 61 (main form, page 5, line 56)

box no. 41
(page 4, line 26)

box no. 43

(main form, page 4, line 29)


2.) Should you use a warehouse in the EU (not Germany) and start your supplies to German customers there, you will not have taxable sales in Germany. Please inform yourself about the taxation at the place of departure.

3.) Should you not use a warehouse in the EU (including Germany), but make sales with a direct delivery from a third country to German private customers, the “fictional delivery” from you to the electronic interface is taxable in the third country under the regulations applicable there. This only applies for sales with a value of goods of up to 150 €

4.) Should you make distance sales with a value of goods of more than 150 € from a third country to German private customers and you are responsible for the declaration at the customs as well as the payment of the import VAT for your customers (duty paid and taxed), then the deliveries from the third country to Germany are considered taxable in Germany. You have to declare the deliveries to the customers and can claim the paid import VAT as input tax at the German tax office.

In the sales tax returns, the transactions shall be recorded as follows:

tax rate 19%

tax rate 7%

input VAT (import VAT)

yearly VAT return

box no. 177

(main form, page 6, line 38)

box no. 275

(main form, page 6, line 41)

box no. 762

(main form, page 9,

line 124)

monthly/ quarterly VAT return

box no. 81

(page 4, line 20)

box no. 86

(page 4, line 21)

box no. 62

(page 5, line 57)



If the German customer is responsible for the import VAT (customs duty unpaid), then your supplies are not taxable in Germany. Please contact the responsible authorities if you have any questions regarding a possible taxation of such transactions in the state where the supply started.



Hints for online sellers for filling out the VAT returns (applies for deliveries from Great Britain to Germany only until 31.12.2020 - still valid for deliveries from Northern Ireland to Germany)

In case of long distance sales directly from other European member states (§ 3c German VAT law) these sales are taxable in Germany if and as soon as the threshold of 100,000 € is exceeded. The calculation of the delivery threshold shall be based on all mail order deliveries from other countries of the European Union to Germany.

Declaring of net turnover
tax rate 19% tax rate 7% 01.07.-31.12.2020
tax rates 16% and 5%
(the turnovers at 16% and at 5% are declared in the same box number)
yearly return main form, page 4, line 38

box no. 177
main form, page 4, line 41

box no. 275
main form, page 4, line 45

box no. 155 (turnovers)
box no. 156 (tax)
monthly/quarterly return page 4, line 26,

box no. 81
page 4, line 27,

box no. 86


page 4, line 28

box no. 35 (turnovers)
box no. 36 (tax)


In the yearly VAT return you have to fill in that net turnover also on Anlage (= annexe) UN, page 4, line 25, box no. 898.

If the goods are not send directly from other EU countries to the German customers, but via a German warehouse/distribution centre all deliveries from the German warehouse to customers within Germany are taxable in Germany, regardless of a delivery threshold.

For these turnovers you must not use the box no. 898.

In this case the shipment of goods from the EU country to the warehouse in Germany must be reported via the recapitulative statement (EC sales list) at the Central Liaison Office (CLO) of the EU country where goods are dispatched from.

In Germany the intra-community acquisition has to be declared as follows:
tax rate 19% tax rate 7% 01.07.-31.12.2020
tax rates 16% and 5%
(the turnovers at 16% and at 5% are declared in the same box number)

input VAT from intra-community acquisitions

yearly return
main form, page 6,
line 82,
box no. 781
main form, page 4,
line 83,
box no. 793

main form, page 4, line 84,

box no. 798 (acquisitions)
box no. 799 (tax)

main form, page 11,
line 123,
box no. 761
monthly/
quarterly
return
page 5, line 33,
box no. 89
page 5, line 34,
box no. 93

page 5, line 35,

box no. 95 (acquisitions)
box no. 98 (tax)

page 8, line 54,
box no. 61

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