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Sale of business:

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Sales in the context of a sale of a business as a whole are not subject to VAT. When a business is taken over, it is therefore necessary to check whether a sale of the business as a whole has taken place; if VAT is incorrectly reported, the purchaser cannot deduct it as input tax.
The prerequisite for a non-taxable sale of a business is that a business as a whole or a separately managed (part) business is transferred.

If only inventory is acquired from the previous operator of the business, non-taxability may be overlooked. In a recent decision in the case of a restaurant, the Federal Fiscal Court clarified that a sale of a business as a whole also exists if the transferred inventory enables the business to be continued on a permanent basis and the purchaser can dispose of the property; in this context, it is irrelevant whether the purchaser leases it from a third party.

In contrast to an earlier ruling – in which only parts of the inventory were acquired and further inventory was leased from the owner – in the present case the entire inventory was transferred, which was sufficient for the continuation of the business.

Since all conditions for a continuation of the business existed, this was a sale of business as a whole and therefore no input tax deduction was possible from the incorrectly reported VAT.

(For further comments, information and examples, please refer to our information letter 03/2019).

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Neumann & Walczak – tax consulting company GmbH – Robert-Bosch-Strasse 1 – 59439 Holzwickede

Neumann & Walczak Tax Consultants – Partnership –
Robert-Bosch-Strasse 1 – 59439 Holzwickede

Website: www.neumann-walczak.de – E-mail: info@neumann-walczak.de

Phone: (0049) 02301 – 91 291 0 – Fax: (0049) 02301 – 91 291 21