I am now facing the same situation with you. some stocks should be returned to DE while all my stock are originally sent and sell from UK. Germany tax is much more complex then UK does, as a result I chosen UK to register VAT. My sales most likely come from DE. It would induced much operation work as DE require to file your tax every month. I still have not make any decision to register Germany VAT number yet, but I believe I need to have decision soon.
Even if you stock only in the UK and you have not crossed the Distance Selling Threshold while selling from the UK to Germany you still HAVE to register for the German Tax Certificate. Only if you DO NOT sell in Germany then you do not have to register. This is Germany’s effort to force Operators of Electronic Marketplaces to give detailed information about the sales of each Merchant on the German Marketplace. They will also force the Operators to pay if you do not pay your taxes so Amazon will put their foot down if you do not register or pay your German Tax and Vat bills.
Those sellers in this thread that are still working on the basis of not stocking in Germany and not crossing the Distance Selling threshold are outdated, the rules have changed when it comes to selling in Germany.
No matter if you got a German VAT ID. You have to apply for the document and upload it to Amazon. Without the certificate you won´t be able to sell in Germany. Especially sellers from outside Europe will get a problem in near future if they don´t have a UID until today or they got one but don´t pay VAT.
How do you apply for it though? fill in the pdf and send it to the appropriate tax authority from the list? we are based in England. We can do this ourselves? or do we need some kind of authorized representative? thanks
Do you sell with FBA Magical_Planet?
The only sales to Germany for us are through FBA, so we may stop that as stock will be held at some point in Germany through FBA.
I don’t make nearly enough to warrant stressing over German sales, so will stop altogether if everyone from the UK, no matter how many orders are sent, require a Tax certificate. That just sounds ridiculous to me but hey ho
Just don’t list on the DE Marketplace, that’s all that is needed. And of course don’t hold stock in Germany for sale from any other marketplace
I’ve spoken to my accountant. I currently sell Fba only. All my stock is stored in the UK. I’m way under the distance selling threshold for German Vat. I suggest everyone speak to their accounts.
Her reply is:
"have looked into this and it appear this email is Amazon protecting themselves following to the changes in the law where market place (such as Amazon) can be jointly liable for VAT.
Our understanding at current is that from a German VAT law perspective there is no requirement for you to register for German VAT as you correctly say you are under the distance selling threshold and hold no stock in Germany.
However due to that there is a risk to market places that it could be the case that these market places may insist for you to register for VAT in the country which you sell to even though you are under the thresholds. This is all speculation at the moment as we can not predict how each market place (Amazon) are going to act. We are likely to know more after 1 March 2019.
I would suggest at the moment to look at how much you are selling to Germany. If you are selling significant amounts then it might be worth considering registering for German VAT. If it is not significant then it might be worth holding out until it is known what the market place (Amazon) is going to do.
Ha ha . If that is what one calls a summary , I’ll umm , well I’ll be …
Always thought a summary was short and well short
Did you click the arrow?
Yep I use FBA . Seems in 2017 the .de site issued a refund for stock lost by them . Never sent any stock there , however that could make it seem like I traded on the .de site , even though I did not and never made a sale there .
So hopefullty that does not cause an issue down the line
yep Adrian . Saw it was clickable . That’s why I laughed at it being called a summary . It was quite the opposite in my opinion .
That’s why I chucked it behind the arrow
Hope this helps.
This is what I’ve found:
On 14 December 2018, a new German law on VAT with regard to trading goods on the Internet (link in German) was officially published and will become effective as of 1 January 2019. The law contains considerable additional VAT obligations for operators of Internet marketplaces and merchants selling goods online. In the future, operators will be liable for their merchants if they do not pay VAT properly.
Operators of Internet marketplaces
The law defines an Internet marketplace as “a website or any other instrument by means of which information is made available on the Internet that enables a third party […] to carry out transactions”.
The operator is “anyone who maintains an electronic marketplace and enables third parties to carry out sales on that marketplace”. Accordingly, the new regulations do not only affect the operators of large online platforms, but also instant messaging platforms through which members can offer each other goods.
Data to be Collected by Operators
From 1 January 2019, operators of Internet marketplaces must record the following information from their merchants and transmit it electronically to the tax office on request:
Name and address
For entrepreneurs: tax number and, if available, German VAT identification number; for private individuals: date of birth
Place and date of departure and final destination of the goods
Time and amount of sales
In addition, for entrepreneurs the operator must hold a corresponding certificate from the tax office responsible for the merchant.
The new regulations only apply to deliveries, i.e., to the sale of physical goods. They do not apply to electronic services such as streaming services.
The new regulations apply to all deliveries where the transport or dispatch of the goods begins or ends in Germany, irrespective of whether the delivery is subject to VAT in Germany.
However, the new regulations only apply to sales that are made on the marketplace. This means that the sales contract must have been concluded directly on the platform. The rules do not apply to sales where goods are offered via a platform but where the seller and buyer agree on the details of the sale (in particular the purchase price) outside the Internet marketplace, as is, for example, the case with some used car platforms.
Implications for Merchants
To enable marketplace operators to fulfil their recording obligations, merchants must apply for the required certificates at their competent tax office – one for each operator. Many marketplace operators may block merchants if they do not provide the required certificates. Tax offices may notify operators, if merchants do not comply with their obligations with regard to VAT.
Liability of Marketplace Operators
Operators of Internet marketplaces will be liable for VAT that merchants do not pay properly. The operator may avoid this if it has recorded the necessary information. Nevertheless, the operator may still be held liable if it knew or should have known – particularly by notification from the tax office – that the merchant does not comply or does not fully comply with its tax obligations.
For merchants outside the EU and the European Economic Area, the liability of the marketplace operator will apply from 1 March 2019, for other merchants from 1 October 2019.
To minimize the risk of being liable for VAT owed by their merchants, marketplace operators may wish to consider excluding traders from their platforms who do not provide the required information or are considered unreliable by their tax office. Because of this, merchants may wish to obtain the necessary certificates in a timely manner and pass them on to the operators of Internet marketplaces.
From my understanding on reading this is as the conclusion section states, Amazon is asking everyone to provide their German tax information. If you do not provide them with the information, they can stop you from selling on Amazon so they will not be liable for any unpaid VAT.
So if you want to sell anything to a German address then you must register for German tax. If a buyer buys from the UK site and the destination address is in Germany, Amazon must declare this. If they do not have your German tax information then Amazon is liable for any VAT due.
Also if Amazon considers your tax responsibility to German tax unreliable. They can ban you from any of their sites. They can do that anyway and anytime.
Guess everyone who want to sell to a German address needs to be German tax registered.
Please tell me if you consider my conclusions wrong because I’m looking for a definitive answer as well.
I read that originally as it’s just orders stored in Germany but it says begins OR ends in Germany - so maybe you’re right - people who have FBA exports activated in DE (i.e. shipped from UK) will have to register… Glad I’ve disabled my settings then, can’t be bothered with even more admin than I already have!
I’ve also deactivated Merchant orders going international until I’m 100% sure.
Great info, thanks Zoidie1
I don’t think it just affects FBA. I think it affects FBM too. Basically I’m reading it as, if you sell any physical goods to a German destination you must charge German VAT on the goods - even if you are below the German tax threshold because the transaction is on Amazon.
If the transaction was not on Amazon then normal German tax apply and you do not need to charge VAT
I was thinking it was more to avoid tax/VAT evasion. I don’t think orders shipped from UK (whether FBA or Merchant) will be applicable for VAT for sellers who are below the 100k threshold and do not store stock in DE (otherwise there would be uproar that there is a new zero German threshold).
I think it’s more just a new regulation Germany have bought in so that selling platforms (Amazon in our case) are being forced to ensure their Merchants (us sellers) are paying our taxes and declaring when thresholds are hit otherwise they (Amazon) foot the bill. In other words - they are scaring selling platforms (Amazon, eBay etc) in to clamping down on us sellers - so the result is that Germany will get more Merchants (who hit the 100k threshold or who store inventory in Germany) to register and start paying VAT (because I’m guessing many don’t in hope they get away with it). This is my assumption - and I wouldn’t bet any money on being right as I’ve changed my assumptions many times on this thread!
Note it says “regulations apply irrespective of whether the delivery is subject to VAT in Germany” - I see that as saying “fill in this form to declare you sell to our Country then your platform (Amazon) can send us sales data (perhaps using a unique tax ID number/reference that you will receive which Amazon will log info under) so we can keep an eye on you to ensure you don’t exceed our VAT threshold”
Again, I’m speculating… Really fantastic how we all have to waste so much time second guessing isn’t it?
I’ve just changed our FBA settings so now Amazon can’t send to Germany - At some point stock will get held/stored temporarily at a fulfillment centre even if it’s on it’s way back to the UK for return.
It’s a pain to lose the sales but i’m airing on the side of caution for now.
I believe , like you Amazon will take blanket action and probably disqualify sellers from the platform even if they do not store in Germany . The platforms like Amazon and Ebay now become directly liable if they allow sellers to operate that the German authorities feel may be avoiding vat .
My only issue is how does one specifically exclude German buyers without excluding Italy , and Spain etc . As they seem to be bunched together . I use FBA , so holiday setting will not affect German based buyers . It seems to me the only option may be to exclude all international buyers and only sell in the country that my stock is based in . That would be the UK .
Does anyone know of a way , beside holiday settings to exclude Germany and France only . Just those two jurisdictions.
Sam , may I ask where on the system one does that .i.e exclude Germany specifically