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VAT on sales in Europe

VAT on sales in Europe

I have a UK VAT-registered business. If I take stock to Germany and sell it in markets there, am I obliged to charge VAT on my sales (unless I sell to VAT-registered customers there, in which case I believe I can zero-rate as long as I obtain a valid German VAT number)? Should I only register for VAT in Germany if my sales there reach the threshold in that country, and does anyone know what the threshold is (or can direct me to a website giving that sort of information)?

Many thanks


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20th Feb 2009 13:08

German VAT registration

I am afraid that a German VAT registration is probably required immediately.

In most EU states there is no VAT registration threshold. This means as soon as you start trading, you should be German VAT registered, and charge local VAT at 19%. There is more about this on our website including the EU VAT thresholds.

The UK does offer the normal VAT thresholds to non-resident traders.

You probably don't need to worry about other taxes and payroll as long as you do not have a perm establishment in Germany.

Hope this helps



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By Anonymous
19th Feb 2009 13:15

Sales to or in Germany
If you are a UK VAT registered business and you sell goods to Germany, if you include the purchasers German VAT number on your invoice you do not need to charge UK or German VAT.

If you take goods to Germany and sell them there you will trading in Germany and if your turnover reaches the registration limit in Germany you will be liable to charge German VAT to (probably) all your customers.

You will also be exporting goods from the UK to Gemany on which you will probably have paid UK VAT and you should be able to recover this.

In addition, if you are trading in Gemany you will be liable to German taxes on income and possibly German social security charges.

I think that you should get some proper professional advice, and I suggest that it migh be cheaper to do so in Germany that to find a firm here that knows enough about it and isn't charging international firm fees.

You could start bycontacting the Commercial Divsion of the German Embassy

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