Germany - Changes concerning invoice adjustments affecting VAT refund procedure for EU and oversea claimants

Germany - Changes concerning invoice adjustments affecting VAT refund procedure for EU and oversea claimants

By VAT4U

If you submit an invoice in the VAT refund procedure that does not meet the requirements for an input VAT deduction according to Section 14 of the German VAT Act (Umsatzsteuergesetz) and the Bundeszentralamt für Steuern (BZSt) does not refund the VAT shown in this invoice, you can request the correction of the invoice from the supplier and apply for an input VAT refund from the corrected invoice.

You can read here what you must observe in the event of an invoice correction with immediate effect:

I. IN WHICH CASES DO I HAVE TO SUBMIT THE CORRECTED INVOICE IN THE REFUND PERIOD IN WHICH THE SERVICE WAS RECEIVED AND THE INVOICE WAS ISSUED FOR THE FIRST TIME?

An invoice correction has retroactive effect to the time when the supply of goods or services was received and the invoice was issued for the first time under the condition that the following information is already included in the original invoice:

  • Invoice issuer (= service provider),
  • recipient of the service,
  • description of the service,
  • remuneration (without VAT) and
  • separately stated VAT.

After the correction of the invoice, the input VAT deduction must be claimed for the remuneration period in which the service was received and the original invoice was available for the first time.

Note:

The refund of VAT from a retroactively corrected invoice can only be made if the relevant refund period has not yet become final. Therefore, if you have to have an invoice retroactively corrected, as a precautionary measure, file an appeal against the decision refusing the refund of the original invoice in order to meet the deadline.

If the corrected invoice is received by the invoice recipient by 31 December 2020, you can also claim the input VAT deduction for the refund period in which the issuer of the invoice corrected the invoice. You do not have to submit the corrected invoice retroactively to the refund period in which the invoice was first issued.

 

II. IN WHICH CASES MUST THE CORRECTED INVOICE BE SUBMITTED AT THE TIME OF THE REFUND PERIOD IN WHICH THE CORRECTION WAS MADE?

If an invoice is missing at least one of the following elements, its correction does not affect the time when the service was received and the invoice was first issued:

  • Invoice issuer (= service provider),
  • recipient of the service,
  • description of the service,
  • remuneration (without turnover tax) and
  • separately stated turnover tax.

After the invoice has been corrected, the input VAT deduction must be claimed for the refund period in which the issuer of the invoice corrected the invoice and the document with the corrected information was received by the recipient of the invoice.

 

III. HOW CAN AN INVOICE BE CORRECTED?

There are three ways to correct insufficient invoices:

1. Correction directly on the invoice

Any correction made directly on the invoice must be confirmed by the issuer of the invoice with his company stamp, date and signature. In the case of an invoice correction, the changed data must still be recognizable on an invoice. Sticking over data by means of stickers or overwriting is not permitted.

2. Creation of an additional document that is unambiguous and specific to the invoice to be amended

The document is unambiguously and specifically related to the invoice to be amended if the invoice number of the original invoice is indicated in this document.  The document must comply with Section 14 of the VAT Act, in particular, contain the creation date. A new invoice number for the correcting document is not required.

3. Issue of a new invoice with date of reissue

A new invoice may be issued, which must contain a clear reference to the original invoice.


Source: Bundeszentralamt für Steuern,  https://www.bzst.de/DE/Unternehmen/Umsatzsteuer/Vorsteuerverguetung/UnternehmerDrittstaaten/unternehmerdrittstaaten_node.html, 05.01.2021

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