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VAT Registration in EU

If you sell goods in any EU country, it is likely that you will be required to register for Value Added Tax (VAT). VAT in the EU is a tax on consumer spending. It is collected by VAT-registered traders on their sales within the EU territory, and passed on to the national tax authorities via VAT tax return filings. Most EU countries allow you to register for VAT online, through the local tax authority’s website.

Whilst it is the sole responsibility of each Amazon seller to be VAT compliant, Amazon is supporting you by providing useful information that may help navigate the VAT regulations within the EU countries. This includes tax advisory contacts with pre-negotiated discounted rates.

Do I need to register for VAT?
Need help with VAT compliance?

Deciding when you need to VAT-register in an EU member state depends on the way you conduct your business. Key factors that determine when you have a VAT obligation include country of establishment, location of your inventory or level of sales (also called VAT registration threshold).

When to VAT-register in the UK?
When to VAT-register in Germany?

Here's how you may determine when to VAT-register, depending on where your business is established:

Your business is established in the UK

  • If your business stores goods in the UK and sells to UK based customers, you are required to register and collect VAT once your UK based sales exceed the VAT registration threshold of £83,000.
  • In addition, if your business further sells goods to private individuals in other EU countries you may also be required to register for VAT in those countries.
  • Collected VAT must be reported to the relevant tax authorities by filing VAT returns.

Your business is established
in a different EU country

  • If your EU business stores goods in another EU country, and sells these goods to UK-based customers you are required to register and start collecting VAT on UK sales once these exceed the VAT registration threshold of £70,000.
  • Likewise, moving (or having your goods moved) to a storage location in the UK, triggers instant VAT registration requirements in the UK.
  • Collected VAT needs to be further reported to the UK tax authority via VAT returns filings.

Your business is established outside EU

  • If you sell goods stored in the UK to EU based consumers, you are required to register for VAT in UK immediately.
  • In addition, if you sell goods to private individuals in other EU countries you may also be required to register for VAT in those countries.
  • Collected VAT  must be reported to the relevant tax authorities by filing VAT returns.

How to claim back VAT paid on business expenses

Hillary owns a small business. Whenever she incurs business expenses she can claim back the VAT she pays.
How to claim back VAT paid on business expenses step 1
1
Hillary owns a small business. She has just hired 2 new employees, and she needs to buy 2 laptops for these hires.
How to claim back VAT paid on business expenses step 2
2
Hillary searches online and identifies a laptop model she likes. One laptop costs 1000 GBP. This price already includes VAT. She orders 2 laptops.
How to claim back VAT paid on business expenses step 3
3
The order is delivered and the VAT invoice is attached. As per the invoice, she paid total of 2000 GBP, out of which 333 GBP is the VAT amount collected by the seller.
How to claim back VAT paid on business expenses step 4
4
Hillary's company is VAT registered so she can claim back VAT on company expenses.
How to claim back VAT paid on business expenses step 5
5
Hillary files the VAT returns and she gets back the 333 GBP she paid in VAT when she acquired the two company laptops. 

How VAT works in Europe

How VAT works in Europe

Steve is importing headphones from India (a non-EU country) and plans to sell them in UK. In order to do this, Steve must present the imported products to customs so that he can pay all necessary import taxes, including VAT and import duty (if applicable).

Learn how VAT works in Europe through Steve's business journey

Getting a VAT number in UK

Once an obligation to VAT-register in UK has been established an application form must be submitted to the UK tax authorities. This process can be carried out online here on the website of HM Revenue & Customs (or HMRC, the department of the UK government responsible for the collection of taxes). At the end of the VAT registration process you will be allocated a VAT number, with which you can:

  • Issue VAT invoices, where you show the VAT collected from customers. In this way, if you are a VAT registered business you are able to recover VAT on most of business expenses (as well as import VAT paid at the time goods are imported into the EU).
  • Start filing VAT returns with HMRC to declare collected VAT and claim back any VAT credit you may have accrued. You can find help with getting registered on our VAT Discounted rates page.

 

  • Issue VAT invoices, where you show the VAT collected from customers. In this way, business customers know how much they can deduct from their purchase, and end-consumers know how much VAT they have paid on the final product.
  • Start filing VAT returns with HMRC to declare collected VAT and claim back any VAT credit you may have accrued.

Here's how you may determine when to VAT-register, depending on where your business is established:

Your business is established in Germany

  • If your business stores goods in Germany and sells to German based customers, you are required to register and collect VAT once your German based sales exceed the VAT registration threshold, which is currently EUR 17,500 but is subject to change and should therefore be checked.
  • In addition, if your business further sells goods to private individuals in other EU countries you may also be required to register for VAT in those countries.
  • Collected VAT must be reported to the relevant tax authorities by filing VAT returns.

Your business is established
in a different EU country

  • If your EU business stores goods in another EU country, and sells these goods to German-based customers you are required to register and start collecting VAT on German sales once these exceed the German distance selling threshold which is currently EUR 100,000 but is subject to change and should therefore be checked.
  • Likewise, moving (or having your goods moved) to a storage location in Germany, triggers instant VAT registration requirements in Germany.
  • Collected VAT needs to be further reported to the German tax authority via VAT returns filings.

Your business is established outside EU

  • If you sell goods stored in Germany to EU based consumers, you are required to register for VAT in Germany immediately.
  • In addition, if you sell goods to private individuals in other EU countries you may also be required to register for VAT in those countries.
  • Collected VAT  must be reported to the relevant tax authorities by filing VAT returns.

How to claim back VAT paid on business expenses

Hillary owns a small business. Whenever she incurs business expenses she can claim back the VAT she pays.
How to claim back VAT paid on business expenses step 1
1
Hillary owns a small business. She has just hired 2 new employees, and she needs to buy 2 laptops for these hires.
How to claim back VAT paid on business expenses step 2
2
Hillary searches online and identifies a laptop model she likes. One laptop costs 1000 EUR. This price already includes VAT. She orders 2 laptops.
How to claim back VAT paid on business expenses step 3
3
The order is delivered and the VAT invoice is attached. As per the invoice, she paid total of 2000 EUR, out of which 319.33 EUR is the VAT amount collected by the seller.
How to claim back VAT paid on business expenses step 4
4
Hillary's company is VAT registered so she can claim back VAT on company expenses.
How to claim back VAT paid on business expenses step 5
5
Hillary files the VAT returns and she gets back the 319.33 EUR she paid in VAT when she acquired the two company laptops. 

How VAT works in Europe

How VAT works in Europe

Steve is importing headphones from India (a non-EU country) and plans to sell them in Germany. In order to do this, Steve must present the imported products to customs so that he can pay all necessary import taxes, including VAT and import duty (if applicable).

Learn how VAT works in Europe through Steve's business journey

Getting a VAT number in Germany

Once an obligation to VAT-register in Germany has been established an application form must be submitted to the German tax authorities. Further information can be found at the BZSt, the German Federal Central Tax Office. At the end of the VAT registration process you will be allocated a VAT number, with which you can:

  • Issue VAT invoices, where you show the VAT collected from customers. In this way, if you are a VAT registered business you are able to recover VAT on most of business expenses (as well as import VAT paid at the time goods are imported into the EU).
  • Start filing VAT returns with the local tax office to declare and pay collected VAT and claim back any VAT credit you may have accrued. You can find help with getting registered on our VAT Discounted rates page.
  • Issue VAT invoices, where you show the VAT collected from customers. In this way, business customers know how much they can deduct from their purchase, and end-consumers know how much VAT they have paid on the final product.
  • Start filing VAT returns with HMRC to declare collected VAT and claim back any VAT credit you may have accrued.

Hear what sellers are saying

Whenever we first looked at the Pan-European FBA option we knew that we would then have to register for VAT in each of the individual countries that we were going to be holding stock in. So it was a consideration but there are a number of solutions out there and a lot of people with a lot of advice to make that actually flow quite easily. The VAT registration wasn’t a particularly onerous task for us, it is actually just a matter of doing some extra paperwork on a quarterly basis."

Zamir Cajee, CEO
iQualTech

VAT Resources

Note: Information on this page does not constitute tax, legal, or other professional advice and must not be used as such.