Q & A

Calculate sales tax – this is how you keep track

The sales tax is a type of indirect tax collected by the state from consumers on the purchase of tangible and intangible products and services. A German business or freelancer must include the country’s value-added tax (VAT) in their quoted prices.

The next post will show you how simple it is to figure out the sales tax on your own. You can also learn about the few rare cases where you can get a refund for the sales tax you’ve already paid in lieu of VAT. Your company’s management will benefit greatly from an understanding of the sales tax liability the business faces. As a result, we suggest some basic tools that might assist you in making the right calculations in a straightforward fashion.

Who is responsible for remitting the sales tax?

  • The customer who purchases your services or commodities is responsible for paying sales tax, often known as value added tax (VAT). Certain goods and services are subject to a lower sales tax rate of 7%, in addition to the standard sales tax rate of 19%. You also cover the cost of VAT to your vendors out of pocket. The value-added tax (VAT) you pay on purchases might be deducted from the VAT you claim on your own invoices. The government gets the difference in their taxes. The Value Added Tax Act (UstG) generally specifies what kinds of “delivery and other services” are liable for sales tax collection. Therefore, depending on your work and legal standing, you may or may not be compelled to collect sales tax.Corporations: In general, all corporations are required to collect sales tax.
    Those in the freelancing and independent business sectors: Do you charge clients for the products and services they receive? Then you must separately disclose whether 19 or 7 percent sales tax was collected.
    In the event that your annual sales were less than 17,500 euros the previous year, you qualify for sales tax exemption under the small business legislation.

How the difference between “net” and “gross” affects sales tax

Sales tax is not included in a net pricing. You may generally find the suppliers’ net prices in their commercial price list. When you buy wholesale, the net price is frequently displayed on the shelf. Conversely, the final purchaser will see the gross price shown at the grocer.

In B2B transactions, you will generally just transmit the net price for a service or product, since the sales tax that later appears on the invoice is a transitory item for both parties. However, when creating a price list or an offer for a final consumer, it is crucial to include the gross price including sales tax, often known as value added tax. Ultimately, the buyer has reached the end of the line and has no further opportunities to claim sales tax credits. Are you a craftsman providing a quote to a business client? If so, your client will probably presume that the figure you provide does not account for sales tax. In contrast, a private client might be taken aback if you added 19% to the final fee for the conversion or repair without their knowledge. For the simple reason that “gross” is the typical reaction of folks in their own homes.

Determine the VAT and GST and their respective differences.

There is typically no distinction between value-added tax (VAT) and sales tax. Sales tax is often used interchangeably with similar terms. Value-added tax is another name for sales tax when considered from the perspective of the final consumer. From the viewpoint of a business owner, however, it is also known as input tax. This is the sales tax your company will be paying in advance to your suppliers. This can be used as a credit to reduce the sales tax on future invoices.

Determine the optimal tax rate.

  • Services and goods sold in Germany have been subject to a 19 percent value-added tax (VAT) since 2007. There are, of course, always exceptions to the rule. For instance, normally practically all groceries are subject to a lower tax rate of 7%. This discount has always been in place to ensure that all customers have access to essential services. If the standard tax rate were applied to everyday items, their prices would rise dramatically.The following is a generalised list of German VAT rates:Most items and services that are not excluded from sales tax or eligible for a lower tax rate pay a standard rate of 19 percent.
    Most food items, books, periodicals, live animals, housing, artwork, some medical supplies, etc., are taxed at a reduced rate of 7 percent.
    Insurance, Credit Brokerage, and International Shipments: 0% Sales Tax

When does the unique sales tax rule kick in?

Your annual revenue may be low if you’re a freelancer or part-time tradesman. For other people, working for themselves is a side gig or a way to supplement their income. Your company’s sales potential may be low even in its infancy. The IRS provides a special set of rules for such enterprises, known as the “small business regulation.” The Sales Tax Act exempts owners of small businesses from collecting sales tax. But you can’t take any input tax back out. I take it that your annual sales as a sole proprietor fell short of the 175,000 Euro mark? Do you anticipate having a sales volume of no more than 50,000 Euros in the coming year? In this case, you get to decide whether or not to comply with the small business legislation.

Step-by-step instructions for figuring sales tax on an invoice

Sales tax is determined by dividing the gross amount by 1.19 to get the net amount, which you then multiply by 19%.

When determining your final cost, what factors do you take into account?
The selling price of your product or service incorporates all of your expenses, plus a margin. When pricing, additionally consider the indirect costs that are not directly tied to the product being sold. Below is a check list that can be used to determine your final cost:

material costs\sproduction costs\sworking time
Traveling expenditures
Energy prices
Rent\sAdvertising and marketing costs
Expenses associated with running a business, such as payroll and billing processes
Computer system licence and upkeep fees

When calculating the unit costs or hourly prices of the various cost elements, remember that you also use the net pricing here , because the gross amount is only computed in the next step.

If you know the net price, what is the formula for determining the gross price?

  • Your final pricing for the goods or your hourly rate for the service is now determined after you’ve included in all of the costs. Assuming you’ve decided to charge the customer the full gross amount, you can do it by doing the following:Set the appropriate sales tax rate. This information is available in the UStG and is dependent on the nature of the products or services being sold. You sell lights that are subject to sales tax at the standard rate of 19%, for instance.
    Apply the applicable sales tax rate to the final price. Here’s an illustration: supposing you make 100 euro from the sale of a lamp. The total amount due is €119 (100 Euros multiplied by 1.19).
    In general, gross price Equals net price * (1+tax rate).

How do you figure out the cost per item after taxes and discounts?

On the other hand, you might know the full retail price of your items right off the off. For instance, if your product’s price is dictated by the market, cost accounting won’t help you much. Given a gross price, how do you calculate the selling price, or what the customer will really pay?

Gross price / (1+tax rate) Equals net price

What this means for the lamp is calculated as follows:

119 euros / (1+0.19) = 100 euros

Use an Excel tax calculator to determine sales tax on your own.

You can get an easy head start on your sales tax calculation by downloading a premade Excel template. There, you’ll be able to enter the relevant tax rates and get going. Excel lets you easily create a table with all of your products and their individual net pricing, and then it will figure out the total price including sales tax and handle all of the paperwork for you. This way you can quickly and precisely compute the total invoice amount for minor orders. The template is also used to calculate VAT .

Online sales tax calculator for immediate use.

Dealing with sales tax is simplified by the abundance of internet calculators available today. If you’re curious about your hourly rate’s gross cost, you can use a similar online tool to get an estimate. As a VAT payer, you only pay the price without VAT, therefore this is also useful if you want to compute the net price of an item in a web shop.

Tax Collections – How Much Money Does the Federal Ministry of Finance Collect in Sales Tax?

Sales tax and value added tax of 234.8 billion euros were paid to the tax office by consumers and businesses in the year 2022. The “tax on sales” accounts for about a third of the total tax revenue (713.6 billion euros) of the federal and state governments, making it the largest item in the tax revenue of the Federal Republic. Germany’s sales tax collection has risen by about 30 percent over the past eight years, and the outlook for the future is optimistic. For this reason, the value added tax is a crucial part of the government’s budget. Due to this, the tax agency is putting extra effort towards halting undisclosed employment.

This is the form that must be filled out in order to report sales tax to the government.

Tax returns can be filed either manually or digitally in Germany using ELSTER. The Federal Ministry of Finance presently hosts the 2018 VAT return form on their website. As of 2019, taxpayers have until July 31 to file their income tax returns and annual VAT returns, respectively. People who use tax consultants also have to deal with other deadlines and extensions. You can get more details about these issues by consulting a tax professional.

Paying and receiving sales tax – Recouping input tax

When purchasing components, components, tools, or services from a vendor, the buyer is often responsible for paying the vendor’s sales tax. These are used in your own manufacturing or service delivery. When invoicing a business or individual for the sale of your finished goods, you must include the appropriate sales tax. The government would appear to profit twice as much in this scenario. The so-called “input tax deduction” was created to counteract this situation. As a result, you’ll only have to remit to the government the difference between the sales tax you collected and the purchase sales tax you paid. The difference between the sales tax you paid and the amount you made will be reimbursed to you.

Input tax deductions are allowed under certain circumstances.

Can the input tax be refunded to everyone? No! The same principles apply to this situation. However, in order to claim a credit for VAT collected above VAT paid, you must first be VAT-taxable. Therefore, it’s impossible for a single person to do it. You cannot deduct the value added tax from your business’s VAT receipts to cover the VAT you paid on your personal supermarket receipt. In addition, billing, scheduling, and record-keeping are all essential.

If you’re a business owner, you need to collect and remit sales tax on every item you move. It is important to keep sales tax and net income distinct throughout the accounting process. To record a customer’s payment, think about it in the same way.
It’s important to keep an eye on supplier bills. For proper accounting, it is essential that the sales tax be appropriately calculated and included in the invoice. Rather than risk losing out on tax reimbursement later on due to a mistaken invoice, it is preferable to have the vendor revise the bill in question.

It’s also worth noting that only sales tax can be deducted. You can’t compare sales tax paid at the DMV with taxes on trade, income, or anything else.

Input tax reporting

  • The tax agency will ask for an update on your sales tax collections from them at various intervals of time depending on the volume of your business. To avoid penalties, businesses with substantial sales volumes are required to file a “pre-registration” each year before April 15. The tax office has to know these numbers in order to predict how much money will be brought in through taxes this year, which is used to balance the federal budget of the Federal Republic of Germany. Return on in-kind contributions, quickly viewed:If your sales tax liability is more than 7,500 euros per year, you must submit a monthly report to the tax authority detailing the sales tax you have collected.
    If your annual VAT is between 1,000 and 7,500 euros: Put in an advance return payment once a quarter.
    No advance notice is needed if the annual turnover tax is less than one thousand Euros. After the initial year has passed, you must file your input tax return with your VAT return.




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