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Value added tax

The sales tax is also called value added tax. It taxes the turnover of entrepreneurs who export within the country. The tax debtor is the entrepreneur. There are exceptions to this rule.

The turnover tax is economically to be classified as an excise duty. It is designed to be borne economically by the consumer (end user). However, the obligation to calculate and pay the sales tax to the tax office is not the responsibility of the individual consumer, but of the entrepreneur. On the other hand, entrepreneurs have the possibility to reclaim the VAT invoiced to them by other entrepreneurs as input tax from the tax office when they receive services for their business, so that the entrepreneurs are not economically burdened with VAT. This possibility of input tax deduction depends on the type of economic activity.

The turnover is taxed if no tax exemption applies. Turnover includes

  • Deliveries (e.g. sales of goods) and
  • other services (e.g. consultancy services, repair work, renting and leasing),
  • intra-Community acquisitions (e.g. purchases of goods from other EU Member States),
  • free of charge.
  • import of goods (handling of taxation by customs)

Tax exemptions are only possible under certain strict conditions, and in some cases separate certificates are required.

The general VAT rate (= standard tax rate) is 19 % and the reduced tax rate is 7 %. The VAT is calculated by applying the respective tax rate to the so-called assessment basis.

The debtor of the turnover tax is always the entrepreneur. However, VAT is only levied if the entrepreneur is not a so-called small business.