REQUESTING A VAT NUMBER FOR GERMANY WITHIN 24 HOURS

If your webshop serves German customers, odds are that you will need a German VAT number. In fact, it is not possible to make use of Amazon FBA (and therefore maintain stock) in Germany without a German VAT number anymore. A German VAT number is crucial in order to be able to continue to grow on German platforms.

VAT rates in Germany are:
– 7% VAT: low rate for products such as water, foodstuffs, books, etc.
– 19% VAT: high rate for all other goods and services
The German name for VAT is Mehrwertsteuer (MwSt.).

Why Amazonsellers?

✅ Requests processed within 24 hours
✅ Fair and transparent pricing
✅ Support before, during and after your request with clear instructions and a tutorial

✅ Direct contact with the German tax authorities
✅ Years of e-commerce experience
✅ VAT registration for Amazon Germany in English

WHEN DO I NEED A GERMAN VAT NUMBER AS AN ENTREPRENEUR?

There are three reasons you could need a German VAT number if you are looking to sell your product(s) through amazon.de:

1. You are selling directly in Germany while your stock is stored in the UK. The distance selling thresholds are no longer applicable. From July 1, 2021, you can use the non-union OSS instead of registering a VAT number in Germany. 
2. You make use of Amazon FBA (amazon.de) or Zalando ZFS or your stock is stored with a third party in Germany
3. You export products from Germany to other European customers and want to make use of the EU’s Mini One-Stop-Shop (MOSS) after July 1st 2021.

DISTANCE Selling THRESHOLDS – No longer applicable

If you are selling and shipping your products from the UK to customers in other countries, you may need to pay attention to the long distance thresholds. These thresholds have been determined for every EU country, meaning that from a certain revenue amount onwards you will need to pay VAT on all products sold in that country. For Germany, that threshold is €100,000 per year.

Since Brexit, the distance selling thresholds are no longer applicable. You must register in an EU-country immediately when doing business over there.

UPDATE JULY 1st 2021: MOSS

In July 2021, all threshold amounts in Europe will be abolished and are to be replaced with one general threshold of €10,000. So if you, as a British company, have stock in Germany of which you sell more than €10.000 to EU customers outside Germany, you will have to declare the VAT via MOSS (also knows as OSS). You will then combine all countries sold to in one declaration. So if you sold to French customers at 20% VAT, Dutch customers at 21% VAT and Swedish customers at 25% VAT, that will need to be defined and shown in one single MOSS declaration.

 

AMAZON FBA

If you are using Amazon FBA, you are practically selling from Germany. Your stock is stored at Amazon in Germany, from which it is shipped to your customers. That is the reason are obligated to pay VAT in Germany.  This also applies if you are shipping your products from Germany to customers in the UK: German VAT applies.
On the upside, you are saving 1% when comparing to British VAT.

As soon as you meet any of the above conditions, you are obligated to register with the German tax authorities.

amazon fba united kingdom long distance sales vat

Long distance sales from the UK

amazon fba vat germany DE

Amazon FBA from Germany to customers inside and outside of Germany

WHAT HAPPENS IF I DO NOT HAVE A GERMAN VAT NUMBER?

This has been a requirement from Amazon since October 31st 2019. Without a German VAT number, Amazon will kindly request that you retrieve your stock within 30 days. If you are unable to, the stock will be destroyed. Last year, that was a risk for many entrepreneurs. Now, it will not be possible to ship stock to Amazon Germany for storage without a German VAT number.

WHICH DOCUMENTS DO I NEED TO BE ABLE TO SELL ON AMAZON?

You will always need the F22-Certificate, Tax Certificate (Steuernummer) and German Tax ID (USt-IdNr) to be able to sell products on Amazon.
When searching for terms surrounding German VAT on the internet, lots of terminology is thrown around. Even just on Amazon itself, you can read about the Tax Certificate, Tax Identification Number and F22-Certificates. These are three distinct documents, but there are many alternative names being used for them.
We’ve made an overview of all the synonyms of these three important terms to help create some clarity for you.

What Amazon calls it What the German Tax Authority calls it Other names you might see What it is and what it looks like

Tax Certificate

Steuernummer

German VAT number, German tax number

This number is used by the German tax authorities. The number starts with the 3-digit code of the regional tax authority where it was requested. For British companies, the 2-digit code is 25 (corresponding to Hannover).

Tax Identification Number

Umsatzsteuer-Identifikationsnummer (USt-IdNr.)

Tax identification number, German Tax ID

This number is used internationally and is similar to your VAT number in the UK, which starts with GB. In Germany, it starts with DE.

F22-Certificate

F22-Bescheinigung

F22-Form, F22-Statement

This is a (stamped) certificate which is meant for e-commerce vendors. This links your German VAT number to your Amazon account. Amazon requires this certificate if you wish to sell via FBA on amazon.de and amazon.co.uk.

 

You need all three of these documents to be able to make use of Amazon FBA. This means you do not need a Tax Certificate and a Steuernummer: these are one and the same!

 

AM I OPEN FOR BUSINESS DIRECTLY AFTER MY REGISTRATION?

Not completely. As soon as you have registered with the German tax authorities, you are subject to VAT. This means that you will need to file a VAT declaration in Germany. You (or your tax advisor) will have to file your VAT declaration on a monthly basis. On a yearly basis, you will have to file a VAT declaration over your total revenue of that year. That amount must correspond to the total of the amounts of your monthly filings. After the first year, you will have to file your VAT declarations every quarter (just like in the UK). The periods are January to March, April to June, etc. The yearly declaration will still be required.

HOW CAN I REQUEST A GERMAN VAT NUMBER?

You can request a German VAT number from the Finanzamt Hannover. This tax office is focused specifically on British entrepreneurs. There are three forms in total that require your information:

– General form stating the requestor, the business owner(s) and company details
– Questionnaire which focuses on the activities you intend to undertake in Germany specifically
– Form for the request of the F22-Certificate

You can also request a third party to do this for you. Many Amazon sellers make use of a third party because it is a considerable amount of work to get through all the German forms. You can file the monthly declarations yourself through elster.de (German tax portal). If you do not speak German or you are not comfortable filing this yourself or you just don’t fancy it, we can help you with it of course!

Important requirement when selling on online marketplaces

Since the 1st of January 2020 it is mandatory to have a German postal address when selling as a non-EU entrepreneur on an online marketplace (like Amazon). This address will be used by the German Tax Authorities to send any tax related documents or letters in case that is required.

If you don’t have a German address, we will be able to help you. We have a German address available that can be used for this exact purpose. Any document or letter that is being send to you in Germany, we’ll able to scan and forward to you by pdf with all the information inside. This will help you sell in Germany while being compliant, without the hassle of maintaining a physical presence over there.

We can offer this letter forwarding-service for £9.95 a month, ex. VAT.

MY LEGAL FORM IS CHANGING, DO I NEED A NEW GERMAN VAT NUMBER?

As soon as you are switching from a sole proprietorship or a partnership to an LTD for example, you are required to request a new German VAT number. You must also terminate your old VAT number. We have created a template to help guide you through this. Contact us to receive the template for free. The German tax authorities will send you a letter stating that the termination has been processed and likely that you will still have to complete a few VAT declarations such as the yearly filing. The requirement to register a new VAT number is therefore the same in Germany as it is in the UK.

WHY WOULD I REQUEST A VAT NUMBER THROUGH YOU?

Nearly all entrepreneurs we are in contact with prefer to focus on the core of developing their business. Requesting VAT numbers usually does not fall in this category. We often hear that the requirements of the request are unclear and it costs entrepreneurs a lot more time and money to figure it out than it provides.

We offer you a carefree option to file the request with the German tax authorities regardless of whether you are looking to sell through Amazon or you have a different situation for which you need a German VAT number. Our geographic location and German language knowledge means we have a good relationship with the German tax authorities.

Next to that, we can help you by setting up a German address to have your correspondence forwarded to your own e-mail address.

jochem van heek

WHAT DOES A GERMAN VAT NUMBER REQUEST COST?

We charge a fixed amount of £ 275 for the complete request. We can also file your VAT declarations, which you can find more information on here.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO REGISTER A GERMAN VAT NUMBER?

The entire process takes roughly 10 weeks ending with receiving a German VAT number in the post. In order to lose as little time as possible, we can ensure that the request for a German VAT number is sent out within 24 hours, but the processing time is dependent on the German tax authorities.

WHAT IS INCLUDED WITH THE VAT NUMBER REQUEST?

✅  We will fill in all the required forms for you to request:
– A Tax Certificate (Steuernummer)
– A Tax Identification Number (USt-IdNr)
– A F22-Certificate. The F22-Certificate is required for Amazon and many other marketplaces

✅  Also, we offer support in answering questions coming from the German tax authorities surrounding the request so you will not need to do it alone.

✅  Instructions for setting up and installing your tax authority account on Elster.de to be able to file the VAT declarations yourself, or to let your accountant file them.

✅  A tutorial in which we give you a walkthrough of the Elster.de account, so you know where to file your declarations.

check mark 8 icon Optional service: German physical postal address for £9.95 a month.

As a starting seller on Amazon, I was new to the world of e-commerce. At first, the fiscal side of it seemed like a huge fuss. Then I found Amazonsellers. Then it all started to make sense thanks to the expertise of the team which goes beyond knowledge on the VAT system, but also e-commerce in general. Thanks to the quick service and personal contact I would definitely recommend them.

Joe Blokland

Owner, Negosie

Amazonsellers has helped us request a German VAT number for our Amazon business in a very professional fashion. The Amazonsellers team responded quickly and expertly to our questions. Are you looking for a company that can help you with your international Amazon ambitions? Then Amazonsellers is the place to be.

Mike K.

Owner, Ziecro

Germany Combo Package

Get started in Germany, fully compliant! We can help you with that.

  • We make sure you can start selling on Amazon Germany by registering a German VAT number (worth £ 275).
  • Next, we will help you prevent receiving high fines (up to £ 200,000) by registering you at the Central Agency Packaging Register and filing your Packaging reports for your first registered year (worth £ 129).

Actual price £ 404 now for £ 349

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