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German Annual VAT returns

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German Annual VAT returns

Annual summary returns are filed in addition to the periodic VAT returns submitted during the year. These returns summarize the data reported in the four quarters (or 12 months) of the previous calendar year.

The annual summary returns in Germany are considered as the final VAT return. Periodic VAT returns, whether they are monthly or quarterly, are often referred as ‘preliminary VAT returns’ because the data reported is only considered final once the Annual return is submitted. This is the reason why some corrections can be made directly through the German annual summary VAT return.

Frequency of filing and due date

The annual summary VAT returns is filed for a complete calendar year. The due date to submit the German annual VAT return is 31 July of the following year. In case this return is filed by a recognised tax consultant, the due date is shifted to 28 February of the second following year. These deadlines have been updated in December 2016 by the German tax authorities

In case a payment needs to be made following the submission of the annual return (eg. Additional output VAT reported in the annual return), this payment must be made within one month following the submission of the return.

In case the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday or bank holiday, the date is shifted to the next working day.

Nil Annual summary VAT return

If there are no transactions to be reported in a given year, a nil Annual summary VAT return must be submitted in Germany.

Corrective German Annual VAT return

Once the annual return has been submitted for a calendar year, any subsequent correction of transactions reported in that year can only be made through a corrective annual return. Periodic VAT returns cannot be corrected once the annual VAT return has been submitted.

The corrective annual VAT return in Germany replaces the previously submitted return. It is not a supplementary declaration but a complete new return where all data has to be reported again. The return is corrected using the same form and way of filing as the annual return. In this form, box 110 must be completed with code 1.

Penalties on German Annual VAT returns

Late filing of the German annual VAT return can be subject to a penalty of up to 10% of the reported VAT amount with a limit of €25,000. In practice, the authorities may not always apply this penalty.

If the annual return requires an additional payment, missing this payment will also trigger a late payment penalty of 0.25% of the VAT due per month. Monthly interest will be added to this amount after 16 months from the end of the year in which VAT became due.

German tax authorities´ contact

In Germany, the competent tax office of a foreign non-established company depends on the country of establishment of the company. For established entities or businesses incorporated in Germany, the competent office depends on the official registered address.

The following link provides details about each tax office in Germany: http://gemfa.bfinv.de/gemfai.exe

Please contact us if you want to receive the list of competent tax authorities for each jurisdiction.