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Published: May 15, 2020

Germany to Provide Easements on Late 13th Directive VAT Refund Applications

The German VAT authorities confirmed this week that although they will not be providing an official extension to the 13th Directive VAT deadline, they will allow some easements on late refund applications.

On Thursday 14 May 2020, the German VAT authorities confirmed that they will not be granting an extension for the 13th Directive VAT deadline. However, the authorities will be applying some easements on late refund applications if proper documentation is presented.

Businesses that are not established in an EU Member State, will still have to apply for a German VAT refund by 30 June 2020 relating to expenses incurred in the calendar year 2019. 

However, to mitigate the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, the German VAT authorities will allow for late refund applications if a legitimate explanation is provided detailing why you were unable to meet the deadline.  

An even more meaningful and detailed explanation will need to be given to the authorities should your refund application be sent post 30 September 2020 for expenses incurred in the 2019 year.

The BZst’w website explains the following: 

If you submit your application so that it is not received by the BZSt until after 30 September 2020, please proceed as follows:

  • Submit your application and the necessary original documents as soon as possible but no later than one month after the circumstance preventing you from submitting your application has ceased and
  • Give a meaningful explanation for why you were unable to meet the application deadline

Germany is the first EU member state to confirm that it will not be extending the 13th Directive deadline but will be providing easements. 

France recently extended its 13th Directive deadline (30 June 2020) to coincide with the EU Refund (8th) Directive Deadline on 30 September 2020. The International VAT Association (IVA) hoped that France’s deadline deferment would convince the EU commission to encourage other member states to do the same. However, the EU Commission is still deciding how to treat both the 13th and EU Refund (8th) Directive deadlines for the year 2020. 

Although not an EU member state, Switzerland has also confirmed that it will not be extending its 13th Directive deadline.

VAT IT continues to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on global VAT changes. Together with the International VAT Association, we are also following the EU commission’s decision closely in the hopes that other VAT authorities will provide deferments and provisions on account of the COVID-19 crisis.
If you would like to stay informed about COVID-19 related VAT news from around the world, you can read our dedicated COVID-19 VAT Updates.

For more information about VAT and COVID-19 contact us

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