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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I have dual citizenship in the US and Canada and have settled in Germany. My German is not good enough yet to tackle online info sites.

My question is about VAT registration and how to determine whether I need to register for it and whether I need to charge VAT on sales within Germany/Europe.

I sell digital products online, mostly to North American customers, but also sometimes to English-speaking people in Germany and Europe. I also sell consultation services that take place online and via phone calls.

My income is currently low, but is growing. I would very much like to be responsible in my business, but am struggling with how to get information pertinent to my situation so I can make good decisions.

Does anyone have resource links or suggestions that can help? I would really appreciate it.

Thanks very much.
 

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Once place you could look is the europa website: EUROPA ? EU website | Choose your language | Choisir une langue | Wählen Sie eine Sprache You can select any language you please and they do have a search function that should dredge up quite a bit of information about the VAT, particularly in cross-border type situations.

If you're selling "digital products" you should probably research this carefully, as the EU has rules that when selling "digital files" (i.e. software, e-books and, I suppose, music files, too, though I have no experience with those) - stuff that can be downloaded by the customer, you are supposed to charge VAT based on the residence of the customer rather than the location of the "shop."

Services, on the other hand, accrue VAT based on the location of the person performing the service. And physical product can usually be exempted from VAT if the product is being shipped outside the EU - but you need a certain number of documents to "prove" where you shipped it to.

Anyhow, start with the EU site and see what information you can glean from there in English to get you started.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you, Bev

Bev,

Thank you so much for this link and for your message. The EU website and further links found there are giving me so much information I've been long searching for. You're a gem!

I've made contact with an English-speaking local area advisor connected to the Enterprise Europe Network, which (apparently) offers free one-on-one advising. I'm currently pursuing that avenue.

Thanks so much,
Grace
 

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I assume you have some sort of legal status in Germany, to live and work. That would be the first priority. Then you probably would need to find a bilingual tax advisor (Steuerberater) to help with the mechanics of setting yourself up as a consultant, and charging VAT (Mehrwertsteuer) when necessary.
 
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