A GUIDE TO VAT REFUNDS
FROM GERMANY

Frankfurt, Germany

How to Get a VAT Refund from Germany

This page deals with refunds for cross-border transactions, it does not address VAT refunds where both vendor and customer are based in the same country. If you are travelling to or conducting business with companies in Germany, you may be eligible to claim back Austrian VAT. We have compiled everything you need to know on this page about VAT refund eligibility, German VAT rates, deadlines for claiming the VAT back, the common services with refundable VAT and the processes to recover German VAT.

Who can Claim VAT Refunds?

 

VAT Refunds for EU Claimants

If you are a VAT registered company in an EU Member State and have conducted cross border transactions in another Member State where you are not VAT registered then you are eligible to recover the VAT according to Articles 170-171a VAT Directive and following the full rules laid out in Directive 2008/9/EC . Here you will find a simplified summary of the vat refund procedures.

VAT Refunds for Non-EU Claimants

If you are a VAT registered company established outside of the EU and you are charged VAT on business activities conducted in an EU Member State where you are not VAT registered, then you are entitled to deduct the VAT through means of a refund from the country where the VAT was paid according to the 13th Directive (69/59/EEC).

Free VAT Refund Guide

Everything you need to know about recovering taxes from cross-border business activity and travel.

German VAT: UST/MWST

Standard rate    19%

Reduced rate     7%  – This applies to food, train, bus tickets and short distance taxi rides

Deadlines for Claims Submission

For companies outside the European Union
June 30 (Year n + 1)

For companies in another EU member state
September 30 (Year n + 1)

Germany VAT: UST/MWST

Standard rate 19%

Reduced rate 7% – This applies to food, train, bus tickets and short distance taxi rides

Deadlines for Claims Submission

For companies outside the European Union
June 30 (Year n + 1)

For companies in another EU member state
September 30 (Year n + 1)

VAT Refund Information

 

Retrospective Claims

A company can claim back VAT from the previous VAT year, no extended deadline is available.

 

Rule of Reciprocity

An EU claimant can claim VAT from any other EU Member State and recover the VAT according to the Member State of Refund’s local VAT legislation.

For non-EU claimants and/or refunds from non-EU Member States, some countries will only grant a VAT refund if the country where your company is registered offers similar VAT refund arrangements, the so-called rule of reciprocity.

Germany applies the Rule of Reciprocity which means that only EU countries and those non_EU countries with a reciprocal agreement may apply for a VAT refund. The latter includes Andorra, Antigua & Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bermuda, Bosnia-Herzegovina, British Virgin Islands, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Cayman Islands, China, Gibraltar, Grenada, Greenland, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Iran, Iraq, Iceland, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Jersey, Korea (North & South), Kuwait, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Macao, Macedonia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Serbia, Solomon Islands, San-Marino, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, St. Vincent, Swaziland, Taiwan, Vatican City, UAE, USA.

 

Services where VAT Refund is Available

The common services with refundable VAT are:

  • Fuel for various means of transport (EU companies only)
  • Hiring transport for passengers
  • Parking
  • Lodging and accommodation and related services
  • Food, drink and restaurant services
  • Expenditure on receptions, entertainment, hospitality
  • Attending fairs, seminars, exhibitions and related costs
  • Hosting fairs, seminars, exhibitions and related costs
  • Fuel for various means of transport (EU companies only)
  • Hiring transport for passengers
  • Parking
  • Lodging and accommodation and related services
  • Food, drink and restaurant services
  • Expenditure on receptions, entertainment, hospitality
  • Attending fairs, seminars, exhibitions and related costs
  • Hosting fairs, seminars, exhibitions and related costs

Latest VAT Chart

Each countries rules and regulations vary. Our VAT chart gives you details about the recoverable VAT in the different countries.

VAT Refund Information

 

VAT Refund Process for EU Claimants

An electronic refund claim is submitted to the claimant’s national tax authority portal providing the following:

1. Claimants details
2. Summary of the refund request
3. Details of each invoice related to the VAT refund application
4. Germany requests scanned images of original invoices if the invoice net amount is EUR 1000 or higher (EUR 250 in case of fuel)

 

VAT Refund Process for Non-EU Claimants

An electronic application (in very exceptional cases a paper application) to the tax authority where the VAT was incurred shall be sent providing the following:

1. Claimants details
2. Summary of the refund request
3. Details of each invoice related to the VAT refund application
4. All original invoices related to the VAT refund must be included with the application
5. An original Certificate of VAT Status valid during the related refund period and not older than 1 year and confirming the business activity

 

Contact Us

For Additional information regarding the process and how we can assist,
please get in touch with us.
We have local offices to assist you further.

VAT Refund Information

 

VAT Refund Process for EU Claimants

An electronic refund claim is submitted to the claimant’s national tax authority portal providing the following.

1. Claimants details
2. Summary of the refund request
3. Details of each invoice related to the VAT refund application.
4. Germany requests scanned images of original invoices if the invoice net amount is EUR 1000 or higher (EUR 250 in case of fuel)

 

VAT Refund Process for Non-EU Claimants

An electronic application (in very exceptional cases a paper application) to the tax authority where the VAT was incurred shall be sent providing the following.

1. Claimants details
2. Summary of the refund request
3. Details of each invoice related to the VAT refund application
4. All original invoices related to the VAT refund must be included with the application
5. An original Certificate of VAT Status valid during the related refund period and not older than 1 year and confirming the business activity

 

Contact Us

For Additional information regarding the process and how we can assist,
please get in touch with us.
We have local offices to assist you further.

Request a Call

Take the 1st step towards maximising VAT refunds.