Pre-register sales tax

Service Description

Sales tax is also commonly referred to as value added tax. It applies in particular to

  • Deliveries and other services,
  • the import of goods from non-EU countries - the resulting import VAT is collected by customs - and
  • the purchase of goods from countries of the European Union, the so-called intra-community acquisition.

The amount of tax varies depending on the type of goods supplied or other services performed:

  • general tax rate: 19 percent
  • reduced tax rate: 7 percent, applies, for example, to
    • the supply of almost all foodstuffs, except for beverages and restaurant sales (note also the exceptions below),
    • for local passenger transport,
    • the transportation of passengers by rail, and
    • for sales of books and newspapers.

Due to the Corona pandemic, the following exemptions applied or are applicable:

  • temporary reduction of tax rates from 19 to 16 percent and from 7 to 5 percent from July 1, 2020, to Dec. 31, 2020
  • for restaurant and catering services - with the exception of beverages - the following exemptions applied or will apply
    • from July 1, 2020, to December 31, 2020, the tax rate of 5 percent, and
    • from January 1, 2021, through December 31, 2023, the 7 percent tax rate.
    • Beginning January 1, 2024, restaurant and food services will be subject to the 19 percent tax rate.

You will have to pass on the sales tax for your business to the tax office. In return, however, you can regularly reclaim input tax, i.e. sales tax on incoming invoices. You calculate the difference in the advance return.

Advance return period - General


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.

If the sum of the previous year's tax was more than EUR 1,000 but not more than EUR 7,500, you must submit the advance return on a quarterly basis.

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

If there was a surplus in your favor of more than EUR 7,500 for the previous calendar year, you can choose the calendar month as the advance return period instead of the calendar quarter.

Preliminary reporting period for start-ups

If you, as the founder of a company, start a professional or commercial activity for the first time, you must submit monthly advance VAT returns in the year of the company's foundation and in the following calendar year. However, this regulation has been suspended for the years 2021 to 2026, so that quarterly submission of advance VAT returns is also possible. With regard to the determination of the relevant amount limits (see above), the anticipated tax of the current calendar year is decisive for a start-up in the years 2021 to 2026. In the following year, the actual tax of the previous year is to be converted into an annual tax. New entrepreneurs are generally not exempt from submitting advance VAT returns in the year of incorporation and the following calendar year.


You are only not obliged to submit an advance VAT return if

  • you only carry out sales that are exempt from sales tax and for which no input tax deduction is possible,
  • you use the small business regulation or
  • you make use of the special regulation for flat-rate farmers and foresters.

Source: Zuständigkeitsfinder Thüringen (Linie6PLus)

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