Applying for reimbursement of turnover tax paid in Germany by entrepreneurs from non-EU countries Unfortunately this specification of service has not yet been completely translated.

If you are registered as an entrepreneur outside the EU, you can, under certain conditions, apply for a refund of the VAT paid in Germany.

Upon application, the Federal Central Tax Office (BZSt) will refund the VAT paid in Germany by traders established outside the EU.

You must submit your application for refund of VAT electronically in the BZSt online portal (BOP).

Notice:
This regulation only applies to entrepreneurs who are resident in a state outside the EU and are registered as entrepreneurs there. A further prerequisite is that the state in which you are domiciled refunds turnover tax to German companies or does not levy turnover tax (so-called reciprocity). A list of the states with which reciprocity exists can be found below or on the BZSt website.


Companies based in other member states of the European Union (EU) can also apply for a refund of input tax. To do so, you must submit your application for input tax refund in the electronic portal of the EU Member State in which your company is established and registered.

Private individuals cannot participate in the input tax refund procedure.



When submitting your application, you must submit:

  • Original invoices and import receipts
  • official certificate from your country of residence confirming that you are registered as an entrepreneur in your country of residence under a tax number (entrepreneur's certificate), containing the following information:
    • the name of the applicant
    • Full address of the applicant
    • the nature of the applicant's business
    • Applicant's tax number (or the reason why no tax number exists)
    • date, stamp and signature of issuing authority



  • Forms: yes
  • Online procedure possible: yes
  • Written form required: yes
  • Personal appearance required: no



Related Links

  • BZSt-Online-Portal (BOP)
  • Formular zur Anmeldung zur Nutzung des BOP zur authentifizierten Übermittlung von Anträgen auf Vergütung der Vorsteuer

Preconditions

Applications for reimbursement may be submitted by

  • - Persons registered as entrepreneurs outside the EU.

Further requirements:

  • You are registered in the BZSt online portal (BOP) and have a valid BOP certificate.
  • the state in which you are domiciled refunds turnover tax to German companies or does not levy turnover tax (so-called reciprocity)
    • If this is not the case, you are only eligible to apply if you participate in the special VAT on e-Services scheme.
  • you have neither your registered office nor your management within the EU
  • You do not have a permanent establishment within the EU from which taxable sales are made.
  • You are not registered for VAT purposes in Germany during the refund period.
  • you do not carry out any sales in Germany, with the exception of
    • Deliveries and services for which the recipient of the service owes sales tax and must pay it to the tax office,
    • transactions that are subject to individual transport taxation,
    • intra-Community acquisitions in Germany and subsequent supplies within the framework of an intra-Community triangular transaction
    • Services covered by the VAT on e-Services (ECOM) scheme
      • telecommunications, radio and television broadcasting services or services supplied by electronic means
      • which are supplied to private individuals in an EU member state against payment
    • the refund period must cover at least 3 consecutive calendar months in a calendar year
      • the period may be less than 3 months if it is the remaining period of the calendar year
    • the period of remuneration may not exceed one calendar year
    • the periods of applications may not overlap
    • You must claim at least EUR 1,000 in remuneration
      • if the refund period covers the calendar year or the last period of a calendar year, you must apply for a refund of at least EUR 500.00.

Section 18(9) of the Turnover Tax Act (UStG); Section 61a of the Turnover Tax Implementing Regulation (UStDV)

Related Links

  • § 18 Absatz 9 Umsatzsteuergesetz (UStG)
  • § 59 Umsatzsteuer-Durchführungsverordnung (UStDV)
  • § 60 Umsatzsteuer-Durchführungsverordnung (UStDV)
  • § 61a Umsatzsteuer-Durchführungsverordnung (UStDV)

Related Links

  • Weitere Informationen zur Vorsteuervergütung an ausländische Unternehmen aus Nicht-EU-Mitgliedstaaten (Drittstaaten) auf der Internetseite des Bundeszentralamts für Steuern
  • Verzeichnis der Drittstaaten, bei denen die Voraussetzungen der Gegenseitigkeit vorliegen auf der Internetseite des Bundesministeriums der Finanzen

You must submit your application for a VAT refund electronically in the BZSt online portal (BOP).

General

  • A certificate is required to use the BOP.
  • More detailed information on the individual user groups and their options for obtaining a certificate can be found in the following sections.
  • For entrepreneurs from third countries and their authorised representatives who are not domiciled in Germany, registration in the BOP is available.

Authorised representative

  • Applications for input tax refunds by entrepreneurs from third countries must be submitted electronically to the Federal Central Tax Office (BZSt). The BOP is available for this purpose. You can also log into the BOP with existing access data from "My ELSTER".
  • You only need one access to the BOP in order to be able to submit your clients' applications, i.e. you do not need an access for each client.
  • If you do not yet have access data, you must first register.

Traders from non-EU member states (third countries)

  • In order to be able to use the BOP for the electronic transmission of input tax refund applications, you must register once with the BZSt for the use of the BOP using the registration form.
  • You must then register with the BOP using the access data you have received.

Registering with the BZSt

  • In order to use the BOP, you must register once with the BZSt to use the BOP.
  • You must then register with the BOP using the access data you have received.
  • This process takes several weeks and you will need to go through several steps to ensure the security of your data.
  • Below is the information you need to register with BZSt.

Notice:

  • The following steps are required once.
  • The first step is to fill out the registration form. The registration form must be signed by the legal representative.
  • The required documents (e.g. extract from the commercial register, proof of identity) can be found on the registration form.
  • Send these documents by post to the BZSt.
  • In the second step, you will receive the BZSt number by letter post and the secret value by e-mail from the BZSt.
  • If you do not receive an e-mail, please check whether the message has been sorted out by spam filters or similar.
  • It can take up to 4 weeks for this step to be completed.

Registering with the BOP

  • In order to use the BOP, you must register once with the BZSt to use the BOP.
  • You will then need to register with the BOP using the credentials you received.
  • This process takes several weeks and you will need to go through several steps to ensure the security of your data.
  • Below are the instructions for registering with the BOP.

Note

  • The registration you have started must be completed within 100 days. If you exceed this time limit, start again at Step 3.
  • Start at step 3 if you want to create additional user accounts.
  • In the first step, begin your registration with the BOP by going to www.elster.de/bportal .
  • Select "Create user account".
  • Select a login option and follow the instructions.
  • In this step, enter your BZSt number and the BZSt secret.
  • In the second step you will receive a link by e-mail, which you have to confirm in order to receive the further login data.
  • In the third step, you will then receive an activation ID from the BZSt by e-mail and an activation code by letter post.
  • It can take up to 4 weeks for this step to be completed.
  • In the fourth step, click on the link in the activation ID email.
  • Follow the instructions and generate the certificate file.
  • The result of the successful registration is a valid user account in the BOP.
  • This is valid for 3 years.
  • To renew it, you must log in to the BOP and agree to the proposed certificate renewal on the BOP home page.

Security

  • Never give access data to third parties.
  • If you are concerned that your BOP access data has been lost or stolen, immediately arrange for it to be blocked by the BZSt.
  • Further security information can be found on the BOP website.
  • For security reasons, only transactions initiated from a user account can be viewed in that account.

Creating Multiple User Accounts

  • A certificate file may not be duplicated (copied). Otherwise, data may be lost within the application dispatch.
  • If several employees of your company need access to the BOP, it is mandatory to register several user accounts, i.e. to create additional certificate files.
  • In this case, a new registration must be made for each user account in the BOP.
  • Therefore, start again at step 3 of the above guide.
  • You must select new user names for additional user accounts.
  • Once registration is complete, you will have a certificate file and PIN for each user account (per employee).
  • You can create up to 200 user accounts.

To submit your compensation request,

  • Log in to the BOP with your temporary certificate to complete the registration process. You will then receive your final certificate by e-mail, which you can always use to log in to the BOP.
  • Now you can submit the electronic application. Complete the form "Application for VAT refund of foreign traders (third countries) in Germany" in the BOP and submit it electronically.
  • Once your application has been successfully submitted, you will receive a dispatch confirmation in your inbox in the BOP. You will also receive a cover sheet to send supporting documents for your application.
  • You must send the original invoices and import documents on which the electronic application is based to the BZSt by post within the application deadline. Use the cover sheet in your mailbox to send the required documents. This will enable the BZSt to match your documents to your electronically submitted application.
  • The BZSt will check your application and the documents you have sent.
  • If your application is approved, you will be refunded the amount of VAT paid.

Responsible for the content
Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF)

Last update or date of publication
26.05.2021