Need ELSTER online help

90 posts in this topic

 

Writing services as in typing handwritten or recorded (by someone else) texts into a computer:

 

What about if its me coming up with the words? E.g. not transcribing as your post implies?

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If you write say content for an agency you'd charge 7% German VAT and you'd declare 7% VAT. I assume you're registered with the Finanzamt as a freelancer or as self-employeed.

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Yes, fully registered with the Finanzamt but never heard of this 7% rule before. It's not on behalf of an agency its directly for a UK limited company based in England. I've been quoting the EU charge back on my invoices as they're paying VAT in England.

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The 7% VAT are chargeable to German customers.

Charge back handling with UK customers doesn't trigger German VAT on your side.

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What about if its me coming up with the words? E.g. not transcribing as your post implies?

 

I didnt even think of that, but zefix is right. And the reason is: you wouldnt be paid for the act of writing. You would be paid for offering the right to publish those words. Those copyright law related stuff is only taxed with 7% in germany according to §12 (2) Nr.7 c) UStG

 

German VAT law is awesome. :)

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Thanks a million everyone!

 

Any ideas on what documents the Ampt might want that could prove the claim that I don't need to pay VAT?

 

I have contracts with American publishers and copies of the finished publications. I can't think of what else I could come up with. My U.S. tax return, perhaps?

 

Thanks.

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Thanks Panda,

 

Hmm, I earned more than 17,500 in 2010 but will earn less than 50,000 in 2011? Is that still a Kleinunternehmer?

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Hmm, I earned more than 17,500 in 2010 but will earn less than 50,000 in 2011? Is that still a Kleinunternehmer?

 

As bohemka said, you could have been a Kleinunternehmer in 2010:

- if you earned less than 17,500€ in 2009

- you earned less than 50,000€ in 2010 (ok)

 

You will not count as a Kleinunternehmer for 2011, because you don't fulfill the first one of the 2 necessary conditions:

- earned less than 17,500€ in the previous year, i.e. 2010 (not fulfilled)

- will earn less than 50,000€ in 2011 (ok)

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PandaMunich, by the way, you are to be commended for always offering informative and accurate advice regarding taxes. And you always seem happy to help. One of the most helpful people on TT, and for one of an Germany's most complex topics. Can I hire you to help me? PLEASE!

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Thanks bohemka :)

 

I try to help, but I do know my limits. I'm not a tax advisor and strictly an amateur in these things. So sorry, you can't hire me.

 

I have a faint recollection of having had this conversation with you by PM back in 2009, so just to reassure you, I haven't surreptitiously turned into a tax advisor nor do I ever intend to become one ;)

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Hmm, I earned more than 17,500 in 2010 but will earn less than 50,000 in 2011? Is that still a Kleinunternehmer?

 

The decision if you are a Kleinunternehmer or not, is based on your taxable (by VAT law) earnings. So if you did all your work for US companies and therefor didnt have to charge VAT, this revenue doesnt count. According to german VAT law you might have earned nothing and could therefor be a Kleinunternehmer.

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It would not make much sense to opt as a Kleinunternehmer, if you only have tax-free returns. A Kleinunternehmer can not deduct VAT from his purchases. As someone who is delivering services to clients outside Germany which would be taxable, if the client was inside Germany, you are better off, as you are now. It all depends on where your clients are located. If they are a business outside germany, your service (as a consultant, lawyer, engineer, pr-person etc) are tax free in Germany. Still you can deduct any VAT paid here for paper, computers, pencils, books etc.

Now, the Finanzamt may still become curious what you are doing and send along your friendly Umsatzsteuer-Sonderprüfer to check out your papers. Show them your contracts and invoices and probably the published works and your bank statements (to prove you do not receive money for taxable work) and they will be happy.

The Umsatzsteuer-Voranmeldung is not that hard. Just fill in "steuerfreie Umsätze MIT Vorsteuerabzug" and "Vorsteuer aus Rechnungen anderer Unternehmer" (just the tax amount that is shown in the receipt).

Or ask the service desk at your local Finanzamt or a tax advisor.

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(...) if you only have tax-free non-taxable (nicht steuerbare) returns. (...) Just fill in "steuerfreie Umsätze MIT Vorsteuerabzug" "Übrige nicht steuerbare Umsätze (Leistungsort nicht im Inland)" and "Vorsteuer aus Rechnungen anderer Unternehmer" (just the tax amount that is shown in the receipt).(...)

 

Fixed that for you. However I agree with the gist of your statement: Kleinunternehmer doesnt make much sense in her case.

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OK, another question on my previous theme... is VAT chargeable for project management services rendered for a US-based and registered company, and if so, at what rate?

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Monthly Umsatzsteuer Voranmeldung Guide

 

There should be a little guide for this, similar to PandaMunich's other guides for tax return forms for freelancers.

And the Elster Wiki.

 

Please correct this if something is wrong.

 

Warning, I'm not an authorized tax agent / accountant. Consult someone who is certified for definitive tax advice.

This is only a summary of my personal experience, do not take it as factual advice.

 

Common Fields a freelancer may encounter:

 

Field 41: Steuerfreie Umsätze mit Vorsteuerabzug, Innergemeinschaftliche Lieferungen

Enter here your income for VAT free intra-community deliveries of goods to other EU countries where the client provides a valid VAT ID (deliveries of goods like a rocketship to Bulgaria, not services like reading Green Eggs & Ham over the telephone to someone in France which goes into Field 21).

 

Make sure to write in your invoices something like:

Tax-free intra-community services and / or supply.

Recipient is liable for tax in their own country (reverse-charge).

Steuerbefreiung, innergemeinschaftliche sonstigen Leistung und / oder Lieferung.

Steuerschuldnerschaft des Leistungsempfängers.

 

You also need to request a formal VAT ID verification through the German online system and keep the posted confirmation for your records as proof.

 

Field 81: Steuerpflichtige Umsätze, (Lieferungen und sonstige Leistungen einschl. unentgeltlicher Wertabgaben) 19%

Enter here all of your netto income where you invoiced with 19% VAT (both German and EU). If you invoiced with 7% VAT then it goes into Field 86. VAT is automatically calculated.

 

Field 89: Innergemeinschaftliche Erwerbe, Steuerfreie innergemeinschaftliche Erwerbe, 19%

Enter here purchases of goods or services you made from VAT registered providers in other EU countries who invoiced you without VAT, instead you are responsible for paying this in Germany. Enter here only for things that should be charged 19%. If it should be 7% then enter into Field 93. You enter here the netto cost and the VAT you owe is automatically calculated. The VAT can be subtracted and canceled out in Field 61 (for goods) and Field 67 (for services), but you must enter this yourself, it's not automatic.

 

Field 21: Nicht steuerbare sonstige Leistungen

Enter here your income for VAT free services to other EU countries where the client provides a valid VAT ID (Or does it go into Field 45?). Do not enter income for goods here: that goes into Field 41 above.

 

Field 45: Übrige nicht steuerbare Umsätze (Leistungsort nicht im Inland)

Enter here your VAT free income for deliveries and services to clients outside of the EU.

Write on your invoices something like:

 

Tax-free non-EU services and / or supply.

Recipient is liable for tax in their own country.

Steuerbefreiung, außerhalb der EU, sonstigen Leistung und / oder Lieferung.

Steuerschuldnerschaft des Leistungsempfängers.

 

You need to keep shipping records to show that it actually went out of the EU.

 

Field 66: Vorsteuerbeträge aus Rechnungen von anderen Unternehmern

Enter here all the VAT you have paid, for goods and services (probably all sourced from German providers). You can probably also add here the VAT paid for high value assets purchased this month that need to be depreciated (am I correct?)

 

Field 61: Vorsteuerbeträge aus dem innergemeinschaftlichen Erwerb von Gegenständen

Enter here the VAT amount from Field 89 and 93 that relates to intra-community expenses for purchasing goods. This will cancel out and make them actually VAT free.

 

Field 62: Entstandene Einfuhrumsatzsteuer

Enter here the VAT you were charged by the Zollamt for importing things into Germany from outside the EU. I don't think duty is refundable (am I correct?)

 

Field 67: Vorsteuerbeträge aus Leistungen

Enter here the VAT amount from Field 89 and 93 that relates to intra-community expenses for purchasing services. It will cancel out the VAT that you were "responsible" for paying.

 

Zusammenfassende Meldung

There is a quarterly ZM to fill out if you had income from goods or services to VAT registered EU customers who you charged no VAT. You need to enter their VAT ID, how much netto you invoiced, and whether it was goods or services.

Post by PandaMunich

 

One problem I am facing now as I try to complete my 2013 tax return, is that I had bad advice from the guy at the Finanzamt. He told me to enter my zero-rated income from services to VAT registered EU clients into Field 45. But after reading some posts today (like the one above from PandaMunich), I think it's Field 21 instead. Correct?

 

I have about 7 months of Umsatzsteuer Voranmeldung that I'm going to have to correct (By refiling and selecting Berichtigte Anmeldung Field 10).

Any experience how these corrections will look to the finanzamt?

 

I correctly filed the Zusammenfassende Meldung and identified it as sonstige Leistungen (other services), so before I complete my tax return and the Umsatzsteuererklärung for 2013, I'd better fix the Umsatzsteuer Voranmeldung beforehand, otherwise it won't add up.

 

Another problem for 2014 is that I incorrectly entered some income in Field 45 that should have been Field 41 for VAT free intra-community deliveries, for March / April. I also incorrectly labeled them as other services in the ZM quarter 1. Will I have problems if I correct these now?

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One of the things in the guide I wasn't sure about was the sonstige Leistungen, for VAT free services to VAT registered clients in other EU countries. For example, if I did photography work for a customer in Dublin (most of the work performed in Germany).

The Finanzamt guy told me to put it in Field 45, but he kept changing his mind about many things after thinking for a while.

My German friend who has been freelancing for a long time told me also to put it in Field 45.

 

But several posts by some of the more reputable members here have said to put it in Field 21.

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Instructions for Field 21 asks to report on the ZM. Maybe this is then the correct one?

 

 

Hier sind die von Ihnen nach § 3a Abs. 2 UStG im übrigen Gemeinschaftsgebiet ausgeführten sonstigen Leistungen einzutragen, für die die Steuer in einem anderen Mitgliedstaat von einem dort ansässigen Leistungsempfänger geschuldet wird. Über die in Zeile 41 einzutragenden sonstigen Leistungen sind Zusammenfassende Meldungen an das BZSt auf elektronischem Weg zu übermitteln (vgl. Eingabehilfe zu den Zeilen 20 bis 22).
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Good work, thank you Thomas! :)

I will put a link to your post into the TT Elster wiki later today.

 

Regarding correcting USt-Voranmeldungen, that's no problem.

Those kinds of mistakes happen when you start out and the Finanzamt is quite understanding.

Just enter a 1 into field 10 on the first page next to "Berichtigte Anmeldung" and re-send it.

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