Germany | Excessive Demand Postpones Non-EU Online Sellers New “USt T1 Certificate“ Requirement

The German tax authorities recently announced a new compliance requirement for non-EU online retailers.  This was to submit a confirmation of registration (USt T1) certificate to the marketplaces on which they trade. 

Originally this was requested to be supplied to the market places by 1st March.  However, this deadline has been delayed until 15th April 2019 for taxpayers which have applied for the certificate by 28 February 2019.

In the meantime, it will be sufficient to present marketplaces with the USt T1 application form.  The reason for this delay is that due to high demand, tax offices fear that they will not be able to process all applications in time to meet the original deadline.

We previously reported that under new rules, from 1st March 2019, German marketplaces will generally be held liable for any missing VAT owed by non-EU sellers trading on their platforms. They can (to an extent) shield themselves from this onerous liability so long as they have as of this date:

  • Maintained specified records of their non-EU traders’ transactional data; and,
  • More importantly, are able to provide the tax authorities with the details of sellers’ USt T1 certificates.

These new marketplace rules will be extended to cover EU online retailers from 1st October 2019.  Under German law, there is no VAT registration requirement for distance sellers with an annual turnover of no more than EUR 100,000. This means they won’t be able to apply for the certificate. However, marketplaces are currently unclear as to whether they expect traders operating on their platforms to acquire it for compliance purposes.

If you believe the above development affects you, and would like further advice, please do get in touch with us for a chat.