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Pre-register VAT

Value added tax is also generally called VAT. In particular, it is subject to

  • deliveries and other services,
  • the import of goods from non-EU countries – the resulting import turnover tax is levied by customs – and
  • the purchase of goods from the countries of the European Union, the so-called intra-Community acquisition.

The amount of the tax varies depending on the type of delivery items or other services performed:

  • General tax rate: 19 percent
  • Reduced tax rate: 7 percent, applies, for example, to
    • the supply of almost all foodstuffs, with the exception of beverages and restaurant sales,
    • for local public transport,
    • the carriage of passengers by rail, and
    • for sales of books and newspapers.

Due to the corona pandemic, the following exceptions were made:

  • Temporary reduction of tax rates from 19 to 16 percent and from 7 to 5 percent from 1 July 2020 to 31 December 2020
  • for catering and catering services – with the exception of beverages –
    • from 1 July 2020 to 31 December 2020, the tax rate of 5 percent and
    • from 1 January 2021 to 30 June 2021, the tax rate of 7 percent.
    • Since 1 July 2021, restaurant and catering services have been subject to the tax rate of 19 percent.

You must pass on the SALES tax for your company to the tax office. In return, however, you can reclaim the input tax, i.e. the VAT on incoming invoices. In the pre-registration, you calculate the difference sum.


Period of pre-registration  


If the VAT for the previous calendar year was more than EUR 7,500, you must submit monthly advance VAT returns in the current year.

For a sum of more than EUR 1,000 to EUR 7,500, you can submit the pre-application quarterly.

If it did not exceed EUR 1,000, the tax office can exempt you from the transmission of advance VAT returns. In this case, only one annual declaration must be submitted.

If there has been a surplus in your favour of more than EUR 7,500 for the previous calendar year, you can choose the calendar month as the pre-registration period instead of the calendar quarter.

If you start a professional or commercial activity for the first time as the founder of a company, you must submit monthly advance VAT returns in the year of the company foundation and in the following calendar year. However, this scheme has been suspended for the years 2021 to 2026.

You are not obliged to submit a monthly advance VAT return when setting up a new company if

  • you only carry out VAT-exempt transactions for which it is not possible to deduct input VAT,
  • you have the small business scheme, or
  • make use of the special scheme for flat-rate farmers and foresters.

Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Portalverbund des Bundes und der Länder)

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