Comments on the current letter of the Federal Ministry of Finance on intra-Community supplies – Part 4

In this multi-part series of articles, we would like to present how the tax authorities comment on the changes from 01.01.2020 in the context of the so-called “quick fixes”. The principles apply to all deliveries made after 31.12.2019.

We hope you enjoy reading!

BMF letter dated October 9, 2020, III C 3 – S 7140/19/10002

The BMF letter can be found at:

Intra-community transfers

1. What is an intra-Community transfer?

This is in the VAT law a fiction for the cases in which an entrepreneur transfers goods at his disposal to the rest of the Community and then uses them directly to carry out taxable transactions. I.e. he does not sell the object initially, but brings it for himself into the EU foreign country.

This transfer results in a tax-free intra-Community supply in the Member State where the transport or dispatch begins. The trader effects a taxable intra-Community acquisition in the Member State to which the goods physically reach.

This requires that the entrepreneur is registered for VAT in both Member States and fulfills the corresponding declaration obligations. Significance has the supply “to himself” in the other EU Member State especially for the following cases:

  • Consignment warehouses, delivery warehouses
  • Fairs and exhibitions
  • Routing merchants

2. Note in the new sales tax application decree in connection with consignment warehouses

Adjusted section 6a 1 paragraph 21 UStAE. If, in a consignment warehouse case, there is an intra-Community transfer within the meaning of Section 6a (2) UStG after all, this must have been stated in the recapitulative statement for tax exemption. Section 4.1.2 must then be applied accordingly here.

If, during the transport of goods to another Member State, the conditions for the consignment stock regime are met, but then these conditions cease to apply – e.g. because the goods are not delivered to the predetermined recipient or because they are destroyed or stolen – an intra-Community transfer is to be assumed at that moment. As a rule, in these cases the entrepreneur will not have a VAT number from the country of destination.

What consequences does this have if such circumstances subsequently arise?

The transfer would then be taxable, without input tax deduction! This carries a corresponding risk.

Look forward to the next article. It will be about the topic “simple and qualified confirmation of the BZSt”


The content reproduced is for general information purposes. All contributions are compiled to the best of our knowledge. They are neither intended nor suitable to replace an individual consultation with expert persons, taking into account the specific circumstances of each individual case. No liability can be assumed for their content. Please contact your tax advisor for your individual case.