Value Added Tax regulations in Germany

Since July 2021, it is necessary to provide a valid German VAT identification number (VAT ID) instead of a certificate according to §22f UStG (Value Added Tax Act).

Since 2019, eBay can be held liable for VAT payments that have not been made by its sellers, and eBay has therefore been obligated to require a certificate according to §22f UStG from every commercial seller. Since July 2021, it is necessary to provide a German VAT identification number (VAT ID) instead of the certificate.

Legal requirements as of 1 July 2021

Most eBay merchants already have a valid VAT identification number (VAT ID) on file for their eBay account. This became a legal requirement for all merchants as of 1 July 2021.  Merchants who don't have a VAT ID on file should provide a VAT ID as soon as possible. 


Information for providing additional data 

  • Small businesses are also required to apply for a VAT ID and file it with eBay. 
  • Please review the notice from the Federal Central Tax Office (Bundeszentralamt für Steuern/BZSt) regarding the issue of your VAT identification number. Make sure that the data stored there matches the data that is on file for your eBay account. This includes your name or the name of your company, its form of organisation and the complete address.
  • eBay is required to verify your VAT ID and the associated data by using the electronic verification procedure provided by the BZSt.

Important: All merchants who don't have a valid VAT ID with matching data on file will be blocked from selling on eBay. 

Verify additional data now
Enter a VAT ID now

Who is required to provide a VAT ID in Germany?

As a seller, you are typically required to register for the German value added tax if you meet one of the following conditions:

  • You are a seller who resides in Germany.
  • You sell goods that are stored in Germany.
  • You sell goods to private individuals in Germany and your business is established in Europe. You ship these goods from another EU country. You have total sales from all sales channels within Europe in excess of 10,000 Euro per year. You do not participate in a special taxation process for intra-Community distance sales in another EU member country (One-Stop-Shop, OSS) and declare your German sales there. 

Please check with your tax adviser if you have further questions.

Who is subject to VAT in Germany?

Generally, it does not matter on which local eBay site a seller lists items.

As a seller, you are typically required to register for the value added tax if you meet one of the following 3 conditions:

  • You are a seller who resides in Germany.
  • You sell goods that are stored in Germany.
  • You sell goods to private individuals in Germany. You send these goods from another EU country where they are stored or pre-delivered. This applies to you if your total annual sales in Germany through all sales channels amount to 100,000 Euro.

Please check with your tax adviser if you have further questions.

Information from the German finance authorities for countries outside of the EU

Additional resources regarding value added tax for businesses that are not located in the EU are available here:

Questions & answers

What is the difference between a German tax ID and a VAT ID?

If you register your company in Germany with the applicable German tax office you will receive a tax ID from this tax office. In most cases, this ID will be used for all taxes for which your company must be registered, including value added tax. The tax ID will be used for all communications with the tax office.

The tax ID consists of 10 to 13 digits all of which are numbers separated into groups by "/".

German VAT identification numbers begin with "DE", followed by 9 digits (numbers).

VAT IDs must be requested from the Federal Central Tax Office.

Request a VAT ID now

I am a small business owner and do not pay value added tax. Do I need a VAT identification number (VAT ID) anyway?

Since July 2021 small business owners are also obligated to provide a VAT identification number. Here as well, it is not essential if the business owner does not pay value added tax because of the exemption for small business owners.

VAT IDs must be requested from the Federal Central Tax Office.

Request a VAT ID now