Sales tax Unfortunately this specification of service has not yet been completely translated.

Value added tax (VAT) is a general excise duty. In principle, the debtor is the entrepreneur.

Value added tax (VALUE ADDED TAX) is one of the property and transport taxes. It is a general excise duty which, in principle, is charged to all private and public consumption.

In principle, the debtor of VAT is the entrepreneur. According to the definition of the law, an entrepreneur is anyone who independently carries out a sustainable activity to generate income.

Subject to VAT

  • deliveries and other services,
  • import (import turnover tax) and
  • intra-Community acquisition.

The basis of assessment is the proceeds that an entrepreneur receives for his services provided in Germany.

Instead of the standard tax rate of 19%, the application of the reduced rate of 7% or an exemption from VAT may be considered for certain transactions.

In order to avoid tax cumulation, the trader is entitled to deduct from the tax he owes on his transactions the amounts of VAT (advance tax) which other traders have openly invoiced to him for their taxable transactions carried out to him. Also deductible as input tax is the value added tax on intra-Community acquisitions as well as the import sales tax that the entrepreneur has paid to the customs office when importing goods from non-EU countries.

The entrepreneur is obliged to submit a VAT return for each calendar year. It is to be calculated whether and how much VAT is to be paid or whether a surplus of input tax arises. With this declaration of the annual tax, the already submitted VAT advance returns are summarized and, if necessary, corrected. In principle, the entrepreneur is legally obliged to transmit the advance VAT return electronically to the tax administration.

Related Links

  • ELSTER Forms

The tax administrations of the Federal Government and the Länder have developed a procedure for the electronic transmission of tax return data (ELSTER) to the tax offices. For the VAT return and the advance VAT return, the free software ELSTERForm is available, which can be downloaded from the Internet.

You can also submit your advance VAT return in the ELSTER online portal.

Related Links

  • ELSTER Forms


The paper forms required for the preparation of the VAT return can be obtained from all tax offices in the state of Schleswig-Holstein.
Further information about ELSTER is also available on the Internet.


Value Added Tax Act (UStG).

Related Links

  • VAT

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