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German Finance Ministry confirms simplification of input tax deduction from invoices

Following the decision of the Bundesfinanzhof (BFH) to simplify the deduction of input VAT from invoices, the Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF) confirmed in a circular dated 7 Dec 2018 that it will be applying this case law.

In judgments from 21 June 2018, the BFH ruled that it is enough for an invoice to include the invoicing party"s postal address and not necessary to specify the premises where it carries out its commercial activities over and above this (Az.: V R 25/15, V R 28/16). We at GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte note that in doing so the BFH has simplified the deduction of input VAT for businesses.

Accordingly, to be entitled to deduct input VAT from an invoice, it is enough for the invoice to include an address at which the invoicing party can be contacted. The BMF subsequently released a circular on 7 Dec 2018 amending the UStAE, a directive on the application of VAT (III C 2 - S 7280-a/07/10005 :003). It now states that any address is sufficient so long as the business providing the service or the beneficiary can be contacted there. Whether the business carries out its commercial activities at the address specified on the invoice is irrelevant. PO box, wholesale customer and c/o addresses all satisfy the requirements.

Lawyers who are versed in the field of tax law can advise on tax disputes with the tax authorities.   

Contact Information

  • Name: Michael Rainer

    Company: GRP Rainer LLP

    Telphone: -- , -

    Address: Contact
    GRP Rainer LLP
    Michael Rainer
    Augustinerstraße 10
    50667 Cologne
    Phone: +49 221-27 22 75-0
    Fax: +49 221-27 22 75-24