New German VAT legislation came into force on 1st of January 2019 for all online sellers there. This requires all businesses trading in Germany to register for a German Tax Certificate (Form F22) regardless whether or not they are above the VAT threshold level.
Essentially this is your business registering with the German authorities that they are making sales to Customers in Germany. The German Tax Certificate is not a VAT registration and you will still need to register if the annual threshold of 100,000 Euros(€) is breached.
Amazon Germany have told FBA sellers that if they have not provided details of their German Tax Certificate before the 1st of March 2019 then you may no longer be permitted to sell on Amazon Germany until this is provided. As such if you are Germany Amazon seller we strongly recommend that you arrange to obtain this German Tax Certificate as soon as possible. After all Germany is the largest e-commerce market in the EU and to temporarily be unable to sell on the platform could be a large lost sales opportunity.
The new legislation effectively gives the German tax authorities the ability to have total visibility of online marketplace accounts. This means they can view the date you opened your account as well as your turnover.
Essentially this new legislation has been designed so the German Tax Authorities can become aware of businesses who have breached the VAT threshold limit. The reason behind this was because it was suspected that there were quite a few businesses who were breaching the limit and not registering. As they were not registered with the German authorities there was no way of keeping track of businesses who should have registered meaning that Germany was losing out on millions of Euros in sales tax each year as a result.
In order to register for a German Tax Certificate you need to contact the German tax office which is responsible for sellers from the country your business is registered in. For UK Companies this is the Hannover-Nord tax office.
Should you need any assistance with your accounting and bookkeeping let us know and we would be happy to help.
The best time to start is now.