VAT in Germany

German VAT Rates

VAT exempt goods and services

Certain categories are exempt from VAT in Germany, such as:

  • Healthcare Services: Medical treatments and related services.
  • Education: Services provided by educational institutions.
  • Financial Services: Banking and insurance services.

VAT exempt goods and services

Zero-rated VAT applies to certain goods and services where the VAT rate is set at 0%. This means that while no VAT is charged to the customer, the seller can still reclaim VAT on their inputs related to these sales. 

In Germany, there are no zero-rated goods or services.

VAT-exempt items are those that are not subject to VAT at all, and the seller cannot reclaim VAT on the inputs used to provide these goods or services.

Essentially, zero-rating allows for input tax recovery, while exemption does not.

German VAT Registration and Thresholds

In Germany, there’s no threshold for VAT registration.

Filing VAT Returns in Germany

  • Frequency: Monthly, quarterly or annually, depending on the business size.
  • Online Filing: Mandatory for all businesses through the ELSTER portal.
  • Deadlines: Deadlines can vary depending on filing frequency. The 10th day of the month following the reporting period is standard for monthly and quarterly filings. If you are filing quarterly and have a good track record of German VAT compliance, it can be 1 month + 10 days. Annually, the deadline is usually 6 months – but it varies year to year.

Reclaiming Input VAT

Businesses can reclaim VAT paid on eligible business expenses, such as:

  • Business Operations: Office supplies and equipment.
  • Travel Expenses: Accommodation and transport.

Current Status on all EPR Categories in Germany (Subject to Regulatory Updates)

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