How and when recover VAT on the purchase of a car from Germany or another European country

Many clients contact us after having bought, on their own or with the help of so-called «professionals», an imported car. They want to know how to recover the VAT they have paid on the purchase. Many of them hire us after to claim it, since they encounter the problem that they have paid VAT as a deposit, but for whatever reason the seller does not want to return that VAT.

In these cases we take care of everything, we contact the seller and proceed to request and claim the refund of that VAT. We are clearly talking about an amount that (as long as it is a correct purchase), belongs to the client as it is a company  and is registered in the Registry of Intra-Community Operators for this purpose.

Main condition to buy a car without VAT

Due to the number of frauds that exist in the purchase of cars and other products at the intra-community level, many sellers decide to follow the instructions of the German finance department. In this way, problems are avoided in the event that the buyer does not pay that VAT.

The main condition that will be imposed on the purchase is that the amount of the German VAT tax (19%) be paid as a deposit. Once the vehicle is registered in Spain, in the name of the same company or self-employed person who buys it, this amount is returned by the seller.

The buyer also has to sign a special document called Gelangebestaetigung, in which he acknowledges that he is going to pay taxes in Spain correctly and that the vehicle has arrived in Spain on a certain date.

Always written in the contract or purchase invoice

The most important thing is that this condition, which recognizes that the buyer can buy net, asks the seller to pay the deposit and that it will be returned later, must be clearly explained and specified in the purchase document.

In the hypothetical case that it does not appear in that document, we must show that in the previous negotiation and in the previous conversations, the desire to buy without VAT has been expressed.

Contact the German Tax Agency

As a last resort and in the event that the seller continues to refuse to return the VAT deposit, what we do at Importarcoches is to contact the corresponding Treasury office in Germany.

It must be indicated what is happening so that they act in front of the seller and explain what he must do.

Normally we do not usually reach this assumption, and the seller usually returns the VAT as soon as we contact him.

It is important to note that according to the German Customs Law, we have 150 days to claim this VAT. After this period, the legal right to claim it is lost.

From Importarcoches we are at your disposal to solve your problems when buying a car in Germany. If you need help on how to recover VAT on the purchase of a car, do not hesitate to contact us.

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