• Carsten Reineke

Official Guidelines - Certificate for Online Sellers in Germany

Aktualisiert: 22. Feb 2019






Guidelines for the VAT liability of online marketplaces



The federal ministry of finance issued guidelines for the new certificates. Link


In addition to a lot to information that mainly concerns the market place itself. The guidelines also include some information for the shop owners.


  • The certificate only certifies that the taxpayer is registered for VAT in Germany. It does not give an indication whether the taxpayer fulfills its VAT obligations (like filing VAT returns and paying VAT on time). Therefore, e.g. the tax office might still ask the marketplace provider (like Amazon or Ebay) to take down the shop, even if the shop operator provided a certificate.


  • The certificate is not necessary for online shops with no German VAT obligations, e.g.

- direct sales from non EU countries (deliveries from the home country directly to the German customer)

- B2C sales from other EU member states under the distance sales threshold (EUR 100,000) and without having waived the application of the threshold for Germany

- B2B sales from other EU member states to Germany


  • The certificate will only be issued, if the trader form non EU countries appoints a German recipient for the correspondence of by the tax office. It is pointed out that the recipient has not to be a person entitled to perform tax advisory services under the German legislation (e.g. a tax advisor, "Steuerberater"). Please find a link to a form here and an English translation here.



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For more information please see our other blog post.

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