German VAT changes

Thu 30th Jun 2016

There have been a number of updates to the German VAT compliance regime. These include:

  • It has been confirmed by the Finance Ministry that non-residents may not reclaim via 8th or 13th VAT Directive refunds any input VAT on invoices relating to exports or intra-community dispatches if the conditions for zero-rating have been met.
  • The German tax court, BFH, struck down an attempt to recover input VAT on pre-incorporation expenses when the incorporation did not ultimately take place.
  • The Cologne tax tribunal (FG Koln) has confirmed that scans of copy invoices had been acceptable for an 8th Directive VAT reclaim. However, since December 2014, the German authorities now permit a scan copy of the original invoice only for a VAT refund.