In a decree dated 22 December 2020, the German Federal Ministry of Finance (Bundesministerium der Finanzen, or BMF) has published the forms for the 2021 preliminary VAT returns (Umsatzsteuer-Voranmeldung, UStVA).
There is a significant change: from January 2021, reductions of the tax base resulting from bad debts must be reported in the UStVA in a separate box in addition. In simplified terms, this only refers to supplies of goods or services taxable in Germany at the standard or the reduced rate (no intra-Community acquisitions, transactions subject to reverse charge etc.) where the remuneration cannot be collected for an undetermined period of time. Such situations lead to a reduction of the tax base of the supplier’s taxable output supplies as well as the customer’s corresponding input VAT amount. While such amounts still need to be considered in the box for taxable supplies and input VAT, they are to be reported in a separate box additionally. Accordingly, such cases must be recorded separately in the bookkeeping in order to be able to comply with that reporting obligation. Details can be found in the model UStVA 2021 and on page 4 of the “Instructions for the preliminary VAT return 2021”.
The model form for the UStVA for 2021 can be found on the BMF website here (in German only): LINK
In another BMF decree of the same date, the forms for the 2021 annual VAT return were published as well along with instructions. As the models and the instructions provide, the same data must be declared in addition (in German only): LINK
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