VAT FORM INFORMATION
VAT FOR TOURISTS
FORMS AND PUBLICATIONS
VAT Form Information
A VAT form is a document that you can use on the economy to receive tax relief on purchases. The amount of tax relief varies from store to store and can be from 7%-19%. The goods and services purchased must be for the sole benefit of the authorized user. VAT forms are $10 per form. The NF-2 price is now $100. A customer may have up to 10 forms outstanding at any one time under the sponsors’ DoD ID.
There is a 7-day window upon arrival to Germany to purchase VAT forms for hotels and car rentals.
HOW DO YOU BUY A VAT FORM? Visit the VAT office and register for tax relief. Determine the type of tax relief purchase you need: Under 2,500 Euro Un-priced purchase orders
- You may acquire up to 10 forms at one time.
- The forms are valid for 2 years from the issue.
- The forms may only be used by persons listed in box 6 or 9.
Over 2,500 Euro Priced purchase orders
- You first need to obtain a cost estimate made out to the 86FSS tax relief office and customer
- The VAT Office will process the application, the German tax document (Abwicklungsschein), and the payment method that the vendor and customer select (e.g. certified US dollar or Euro check). All checks must be made payable to 86th FSS and the vendor.
*You then deliver the payment along with the purchase order to the German company to place the order. Pay the VAT office for the service you are purchasing.
- Deliver the orders and purchase payment to the vendor.
- Ensure that the vendor and you complete, sign, and date your transaction.
- The vendor keeps the German tax document (Abwicklungsschein) and one copy of the purchase order.
- The customer keeps the first carbon (pink copy) and the original (white copy) is returned to the VAT office.
NOTE If you purchase 10 VAT forms, you must return your used VAT forms before you will be able to purchase more. Only 10 VAT forms can be issued to a sponsor at once (this includes authorized family members). Never pay the VAT tax and then attempt the tax relief at a later date. This is against the law and in violation of the US Forces tax relief policy.
VAT For Tourists
What is the Tax-Free Shopping? Quite simply, Tax-Free Shopping is the internationally available service, which enables you to go shop in the country you are visiting and claim back the local sales tax you pay as part of the price of the purchases you make. This easy-to-use and hassle-free service is available through major retailers and is run by the Global Refund.
Who can shop Tax-Free? Just by being a foreign visitor to another country or a non-EU resident if traveling within the EU, you are entitled to reclaim the tax paid on goods that you return home with.
How will I receive my VAT refund? There are two simple, safe, and reliable ways of receiving your tax refund. You can use Global Refunds unrivaled service to claim your refund straight away in cash from any one of over 400 Cash Refund Offices around the world.
Reclaiming your tax with Global Refund is as easy as 1,2,3.
Shop wherever you see the Global Refund TAX FREE SHOPPING sign. Whenever you make a purchase, just ask for the Global Refund Cheque. You will find more than 125,000 shops around the world offering the Global Refund service where you can reclaim the taxes you will pay on purchases.
As with all exports, you must declare your purchase at the customs office. So when leaving the country, present your purchases and your Global Refund Cheques to Customs to get them validated. When shopping in countries within the EU, only declare your purchases when leaving the EU.
Finally, receive your cash refund by cashing your Global Refund Cheques at our nearby Cash Refund Office after you have cleared passport control or at any of the international Cash Refund Offices worldwide.
ILLEGAL USES OF A VAT FORM
- Use for any business or German-licensed business purpose.
- Permitting unauthorized (non-ID card) personnel to use your forms.
- Making a tax-relief purchase for an unauthorized person.
- Purchasing utilities (e.g. heating oil) for your landlord, other non-authorized personnel, or for yourself.
- Obtain tax-relief for major home remodeling or new construction.
- Precious metals.
- Loose gemstones.
- Real estate or construction of permanent structures and fees associated with them.
- Telephone bills (except TKS).
- Purchases outside of Germany.
- Process tax-relief “after-the-fact”.
- Stocks and bonds.
- VAT forms are for one-time purchases only.
- Contracts over 30 days (e.g. cellphone or internet).
The Utility Tax Avoidance Program (UTAP) is a great way for eligible DoD personnel (who reside in housing on the economy) to save money on utility bills. UTAP legally allows you to avoid paying German tax on certain utilities. With UTAP, you can save up to 19% value-added tax on electricity and natural gas and 7% on water. This program can save you and the US Government hundreds of dollars annually on your utilities.
US Armed Forces members, military and civilian, fall under the current Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with Germany and are entitled to the tax-free delivery of electricity, gas, and/or water, when residing on the German economy. These utilities must be metered in the sponsor’s name in order for them to legally receive tax-relief. The utilities are taxed at 19% for electricity and gas, 7% for water. We currently have contracts with over a dozen German utility companies in and around the Kaiserslautern area.
In order to sign up for the utility tax-relief program, you will need to bring the completed UTAP application form, a copy of your orders, and your local banking information (your IBAN ‘DE + 20 numbers’) into the VAT Office. You will also need to bring in a copy of your rental agreement signed by the housing office or the deed if you own your home and a fee of $99.00. If other than the sponsor, you will need to bring a Power of Attorney.
Please read through the application thoroughly to ensure that you understand what is expected. When you sign the application for our program you are signing a contract.