Sunday, February 26, 2012

Military Monday-VAT Forms

Today is a simple topic that wont take up more than a paragraph or two.  I am mentioning it simply because many people are unaware of the program when they first PCS to Germany (as I was) and it is a great program to take advantage of.

I am, of course, speaking about the use of VAT forms.


If you have been reading up on the cost of living in Germany or German way of life you may have come across the standard tax fee that is applied to purchased products and services.  This tax is 19%... wow, I know... In California the standard tax was around 7.4% or something when I left so it was a bit of a shock when the 19% rule came into view for us.  Fortunately, the military has been courteous enough to provide a form that when presented to venders (those who accept it) will waive the fee. 

The Rules:
1.  You have to pay for the form, here it is priced at $4 per form or $30 for 10 forms (not sure if it's the same all around), but $3 is much better than some of the $20 in tax that was applied to my first phone bill.

2. The forms can be picked up from your local VAT office, it takes about 15 minutes to get all the forms signed and authorized.

3. There can only be 10 forms to your name so if you check out 10 forms you have to use all 10 and bring back the receipt portion of the form before you can get 10 more.

4.  Not all places are willing to take the forms.  Smaller venders are likely to not know what a VAT form is let alone accept it.

5.  There is a purchasing amount minimum of, I believe, $3.  Of course, why you would bother spending a $3 form on something's tax that is $.57 is beyond me.  Still, just so you know.

6.  VAT forms are good for 1 year from the issue date.

Also, keep in mind that there is still no tax applied at your local exchange store!

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