German Tax Consultants Association reacts to reduction of VAT rates
17 June

The German Association of Tax Advisors reacts to the reduction in VAT rates

In a lengthy statement, the German Association of Tax Consultants has commented on the temporary reduction of VAT rates. The content of the text makes it clear that, according to the assessment of the tax consultants, the change in VAT is (literally) a "bureaucratic super-GAU".

Uncertainty regarding the reduction of VAT rates

The tax advisors particularly point out the burden on small and medium-sized businesses that would result from the reduction of VAT rates. Above all, the still continuing uncertainty on all sides regarding the regulations of the VAT rate reduction still prevails, should be eliminated as soon as possible. If one takes into account that in the end only the Bundestag session on 29 June will be factual, the latter is rather a pious wish.

Missing accounts and manual effort

In a moment, the tax advisors' association sets out some demands that arise due to the short deadlines for implementing the measures to deal with the Corona crisis. One sticking point, according to the text, is the conversion of the accounting software or ERP systems on the new VAT rates (5 % and 16 %). Quote: "..For example, VAT accounts for recording intra-Community acquisitions, accounts for recording payments made on account or the reverse charge procedure are missing at 16 % and 5 % respectively." End of quote. In their letter, the tax advisors further question whether all systems in Germany will be converted in time. This would result in extensive manual work, so that a timely changeover would not be possible. value added tax-The association is calling for an extended deadline for the submission of the advance VAT return. To this end, the association demands an extended deadline for the submission of the advance VAT return.

Threatened violation of the GoBD

The consequences from the adjustment of VAT rates would, according to the tax advisors, possibly lead to a violation of the principles for the proper keeping and storage of books, records and documents in electronic form as well as for data access. (GoBD) lead. There would be a danger that a timely allocation of business transactions by means of an account assignment could not take place if the charts of accounts adapted to the reduction of VAT rates are not yet available. Here, the tax advisors' association demands a temporary suspension of the corresponding requirements.

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Conversion of cash registers to new VAT rates

Here, the Association of Tax Consultants assumes that a timely conversion of the Cash register systems will not be possible for all affected companies. Businesses affected by this can correct incorrectly issued receipts, but this would practically fail due to the effort involved. Therefore, the association demands that if cash registers are not converted to the newly applicable tax rates in due time, the entrepreneur should only owe the legally due VAT of 16 % or 5 % (despite overstated tax).

In addition, the tax advisors' association is also calling for a postponement of the legal obligation to protect electronic recording systems (for digital cash registers) against manipulation by using certified technical security equipment (TSE).

Call for exceptions

Many companies have now already invoiced in advance, which will be implemented during the period of the reduced VAT rates. One consequence of this would be invoice adjustments. The tax advisors are calling for a special regulation to the effect that the higher VAT rates can be used here.

Exceptionally, it should also be permitted for businesses to pay only the legally owed VAT in gross price agreements despite overstating the VAT on their invoice.

It is also proposed to allow exceptions for the provision of services on different dates. Thus, it should be permitted to charge such services with the same VAT rate.

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