VAT Compliance

EC sales list

If a company is VAT-registered in Germany and that supplies goods and services to a VAT-registered customer in another European Union (EU) country, the company is obliged to report details to the German Federal Tax Office (Bundeszentralamt für Steuern).

The company needs to complete an EC Sales List (ESL) showing details of each of its customers in the EU and the value (in euro) of the supplies and services the company made to them in the period.

Meeting Sales List

The ESL contains details of:

  • the customer 
  • the relevant country code 
  • the value of goods or services 
  • VAT identification number of client

The information given to the German Federal Tax Office is used by tax authorities in other EU countries. They use it to check that the businesses the company did, are declared correctly in their countries.

ESLs are filed in Germany on a monthly basis for goods once sales go over € 100,000 per anno. Otherwise, it is quarterly filings for goods. For services, the returns are filed quarterly. The filing date is the 25th of the month following the reporting period (monthly/quarterly) end.

There may be a fine of up to € 5,000 for late or incorrect German ESL filings.

WW+KN can assist foreign companies by preparing their German ESL.