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Pre-register sales tax
Source: Zuständigkeitsfinder Schleswig-Holstein (Linie6PLus)
Sales tax is also commonly referred to as value added tax. It applies in particular to
- Deliveries and other services,
- the import of goods from non-EU countries - the resulting import VAT is collected by customs - and
- the purchase of goods from countries of the European Union, the so-called intra-community acquisition.
The amount of tax varies depending on the type of goods supplied or other services performed:
- general tax rate: 19 percent
- reduced tax rate: 7 percent, applies, for example, to
- the supply of almost all foodstuffs, except for beverages and restaurant sales (note also the exceptions below),
- for local passenger transport,
- the transportation of passengers by rail, and
- for sales of books and newspapers.
Due to the Corona pandemic, the following exemptions were or are in effect:
- temporary reduction of tax rates from 19 to 16 percent and from 7 to 5 percent from July 1, 2020, to Dec. 31, 2020
- for restaurant and catering services - with the exception of beverages - the following exemptions apply
- from July 1, 2020, to December 31, 2020, the tax rate of 5 percent, and
- from January 1, 2021, through December 31, 2022, the 7 percent tax rate.
- As of January 1, 2023, restaurant and catering services will be subject to the 19 percent tax rate.
You will have to pass on the sales tax for your business to the tax office. In return, however, you can regularly reclaim input tax, i.e. sales tax on incoming invoices. You calculate the difference in the advance return.
Period of the advance return
If the VAT for the previous calendar year was more than EUR 7,500, you must submit monthly VAT advance returns in the current year.
If the sum of the previous year's tax was more than EUR 1,000 but less than EUR 7,500, you must submit the advance return on a quarterly basis.
If it did not exceed EUR 1,000, the tax office may exempt you from submitting advance VAT returns. In this case, only one annual return must be submitted.
If there was a surplus in your favor of more than EUR 7,500 for the previous calendar year, you can choose the calendar month as the advance return period instead of the calendar quarter.
If you, as the founder of a company, start a professional or commercial activity for the first time, you must submit monthly advance VAT returns in the year in which the company is founded and in the following calendar year. However, this rule has been suspended for the years 2021 to 2026.
You are not required to submit a monthly advance VAT return when starting a new business if
- You only carry out sales that are exempt from sales tax and for which no input tax deduction is possible,
- you use the small business regulation or
- you make use of the special regulation for flat-rate farmers and foresters.
In the case of a new establishment in the years 2021 to 2026, the anticipated tax of the current calendar year is decisive with regard to the above-mentioned amount limits. In the following year, the actual tax of the previous year is to be converted into an annual tax.
You submit the advance return for sales tax electronically via the officially specified interface, for example
- with the free online product of the tax authorities "My ELSTER - Your Online Tax Office" or
- with a commercial tax program.
If you use "My ELSTER," proceed as follows:
- For example, visit "My ELSTER - Your Online Tax Office" on the Internet.
- Log in with your access data and your personal security procedure.
- Select the menu item "Advance return for sales tax".
- Select the relevant calendar year.
- In the following step, select the transfer of previous data or continue without data transfer.
- Enter your data on the following pages. "My ELSTER" will guide you through the entire procedure.
- At the end of the procedure, "My ELSTER" checks your data and calculates the advance VAT payment due or any surplus.
- Send the electronic advance VAT return.
- If an advance payment is due, you must transfer it to the relevant tax office by the due date, or you can give the tax office a SEPA direct debit mandate. You will automatically be reimbursed for any surplus.
Alternatively, you can also transfer the advance VAT return directly from a commercial tax program to ELSTER via the electronic interface.
Who should I contact?
- You are engaged in a commercial or professional activity on a self-employed basis. This is the case if you intend to generate income from it on a permanent basis.
- Your business belongs to one of the following groups:
- natural persons, i.e. individuals, for example:
- craftsmen and craftswomen
- Homeowners with a photovoltaic system
- legal entities, for example:
- Joint stock company
- Limited liability company (GmbH)
- registered association or foundation
- Associations of persons, for example:
- Civil law partnership (GbR)
- General partnership (OHG)
- Limited partnership (KG).
- natural persons, i.e. individuals, for example:
Which documents are required?
- Advance VAT return
- You may need to attach purchase invoices, contracts or similar documents, or send them separately.
What are the fees?
There are no direct costs for the transmission of the advance VAT return.
What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?
This is a declaration or filing deadline.
You must submit the advance VAT returns by the 10th day after the end of the advance return period (month/quarter) at the latest.
Upon request, the tax office may extend the deadline for submitting the advance returns and for paying the advance payments by one month (extension of the standing deadline).
If you submit the advance return for VAT on a monthly basis, the granting of a permanent deadline extension depends on you paying a special advance payment.
Applications / forms
- Forms available: yes
- Written form required: yes
- Informal application possible: no
- Personal appearance required: no
- Online service available: Yes
The text was automatically translated based on the German content.
Technically approved by
Federal Ministry for finances
Professionally released on