Anyone who does not issue an invoice correctly or in good time risks a fine of 5,000 euros. Anyone who does not keep the invoice or other supporting documents or does not keep them for at least two years must expect a fine of 500 euros.

Import sales tax: when does sales tax have to be paid?

The import sales tax (EUSt) is due when goods are imported into Germany from a third country. According to Section 2 Paragraph 8 of the Foreign Trade and Payments Act, a third country is any country that is outside the customs territory of the European Union. However, one platform is excluded from this. The basis of assessment is the corresponding customs value. In case of online tax filing this is important.

VAT on exports?

If German companies export to a third country, these products can be accounted for tax-free as export deliveries. In order to receive the tax exemption, it must be proven that the goods have left the country. This must be traceable by means of documentary and book evidence.

With regard to sales tax within the EU, traders can note the following: Deliveries to traders in another member country are generally exempt from sales tax in the country of origin. In the recipient’s country of destination, the delivery is subject to income tax.

However, if you deliver to a private person, this is not subject to acquisition tax , which is why the dealers have to pay the sales tax.

Tax number and VAT identification number

Anyone who generates sales tax abroad needs a sales tax identification number.

  • According to 22d UStG, every entrepreneur receives a tax number from the responsible tax office, which must be stated on the invoices.
  • In addition, the Federal Central Tax Office issues a sales tax identification number. Companies need this if they want to import goods from another EU member state tax-free 
  • However, the Federal Central Office can only hand over the sales tax identification number if the dealer is also listed as subject to sales tax in Germany.
  • Every retailer needs this identification number so that sales tax is correctly offset within the EU. In addition, the number is required to recognize whether goods can be delivered VAT-free.
  • To be able to correctly indicate the tax-free intra – community delivery in the recapitulative statement
  • To be able to prepare the invoices properly (both VAT ID numbers must appear)

If retailers also want to deliver to other European countries or import goods, they need a sales tax identification number. This can be applied for at the Federal Central Tax Office.

Does the tax office check the sales tax paid?

Since the calculation of sales tax is in the hands of the company, it can carry out a sales tax review (27b UStG). A so-called official then visits the company and looks through the business documents. The boss must give the employee of the tax office access to all documents.