Germany VAT Reclaim for NON EU businesses

General Non-EU businesses (13th Directive)

German VAT is known as “Umsatzsteuer” (USt) or “Mehrwertsteuer” (MwSt).

Refund Eligibility

Reciprocity is required. Germany has signed reciprocity agreements with Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bermudas, British Virgin Islands, Brunei Darussalam, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Cayman Islands, China (Taiwan), Croatia, Gibraltar, Greenland, Grenada, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Iceland, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Jersey, Korea (People‘s Rep.), Korea (R.O.K.), Kuwait, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Macao, Maldives, Macedonia, Norway, Oman, Qatar, Pakistan, St. Vincent, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Solomon Islands, Swaziland, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, U.S. and Vatican City.

Reciprocity is denied for Mauritania.

Non-refundable VAT

VAT cannot be recovered on:

  • Supplies of fuel (e.g. diesel or petrol);
  • Supplies of goods and services that are not used for business purposes, including gifts; Or
  • Supplies and services acquired or goods imported connected to certain exempt activities.

Minimum amounts GB Business

If the application is for a period covering less than 12 months, the total amount of VAT claimed must not be less than Euro 500. However, when the application is for the full 12 months of the prescribed year, or there are less than three months remaining in the prescribed year, the amount of VAT claimed must not be less than Euro 500.

Time limits

The application must cover a period of not less than three consecutive calendar months (e.g. from 1 January to 31 March) in one calendar year and not more than one calendar year, unless the period represents the remainder of a calendar year (e.g. from 1 November to 31 December).

The application must be submitted to the German tax authorities within six months after the end of the calendar year in which the tax became chargeable, i.e. by 30 June of the following year. Late claims are not accepted and the deadline will not be extended.

Supporting documentation

The following documents must be submitted with each application:

  • Original invoices, import documents, bills, vouchers, receipts or customs clearance forms (copies are accepted only if the original has been lost and the copies are certified by the supplier); the invoices must comply with the German invoicing requirements;
  • A certificate of taxable status showing that the claimant is registered for VAT purposes in its country of residence. The certificate must not be more than one year old;
  • A letter of authority if a third party submits an application on behalf of the claimant, but the application must be signed by the claimant;
  • The original application form or the first original transfer report must be signed by the managing director of the claimant‘s company.

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