All EU member states have a fixed format for their VAT numbers. In Germany, it includes 9 numbers and the prefix DE (e.g., DE123456789).
The standard VAT rate in Germany is 19%, with a reduced rate of 7% on certain goods and services. Some services are exempt from the German VAT, such as intra-community supplies, maritime, and air transport.
All businesses with a German VAT number must submit periodic VAT reports and payments.
For all companies that operate in Germany, VAT returns must be submitted monthly or quarterly, depending on the annual revenue of the business entity.
In the case of the late filing of VAT returns and payments, the German government prescribed the penalties as follows:
The required information on an invoice is regulated in Section 14 Paragraph 2 No. 2 of the Sales Tax Act (UstG). Invoices must contain at least the following information:
From April 2020, all suppliers billing the Government will be obliged to submit their invoices electronically.
For B2B and B2C transactions, issuance of invoices electronically is permitted, but still not mandatory.
Companies in Germany must file an Electronic Tax Balance Sheet (eBilanz) as an appendix to their annual electronic company tax returns.
Bundesministerium der Finanzen (the German Ministry of Finance defined the eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) as the mandatory technical format for all data transmissions by companies to the tax authorities related to Electronic Tax Balance Sheet (eBilanz).
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