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Refund – input tax amounts – EU member states

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Entrepreneurs based in Germany,

who are entitled to deduct input tax and have paid input tax amounts in connection with their business activities abroad (e.g. on the occasion of a business trip or as an exhibitor at a trade fair) can regularly be reimbursed for these amounts in a special procedure.

The refund procedure is generally intended for entrepreneurs who do not generate taxable transactions in the state in which the refund is requested, i.e. who are not subject to the “normal” taxation procedure and therefore do not have to file VAT returns in that state.

Requests for reimbursement

of input tax amounts from other EU countries must be submitted exclusively in electronic form via the Federal Central Tax Office (www.bzst.de); if the requirements are met, the Federal Central Tax Office forwards the application to the reimbursing state.

In the remuneration application, in addition to the entrepreneurial data and declarations, special information must be provided for each invoice or import document. If the consideration for the transaction or import is 1,000 euros or more (for fuel invoices: at least 250 euros), electronic copies of the original invoices and import receipts must be attached to the refund application in some states.

The application for reimbursement must be submitted no later than September 30 of the calendar year following the year in which the invoice was issued (the date of timely receipt by the Federal Central Tax Office is decisive).

To be noted,

that, as a rule, only the input tax can be refunded that could also be claimed by an entrepreneur resident in the respective refund country; in some Member States, considerable restrictions apply here (e.g. in the case of representation and entertainment expenses, vehicles, fuels).

The amount of remuneration must be at least 50 euros (or the equivalent amount in local currency).


(Further comments & information on this can be found in our information letter 09/2018 under the item 5.)

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