Estonian businesses

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Where can I register for VAT (value-added tax)?

Local tax office Rostock is competent authority for businesses that have their domicile, head office or place of management in Estonia.

Finanzamt Rostock

Möllner Straße 13

18109 Rostock

phone: +49 381- 12845 - 0

fax: + 49 381- 12845 - 4300


2. How can I register for VAT (value-added tax) by competent authority local tax office Rostock?

Estonian businesses have to submit following forms and documents for VAT registration by post or email:

  • VAT registration form for non-resident business including attachments
  • Tax residence certificate (if there is no Estonian VAT identification number)
  • Declaration on email communication with the tax office
  • Copies of all contracts an documents relating to the establishment of the company (e.g. articles of association and annex to articles of association in German or English made by an authorized translator)
  • Estonian VAT identification number
  • EORI-number


Please provide all details in German or in English. Please remember to sign all forms. The tax office requires these details to be able to verify, whether any liability to taxation applies pursuant to German tax laws.

3. How can I declare and pay German – VAT (value-added tax)?

Your business has to report its turnovers and, if applicable, input tax amounts to the tax office on a monthly or quarterly basis by the 10th day after the end of the relevant provisional return period.

The provisional return period depends on your estimated tax liability for the current calendar year. If you expect your tax liability to exceed €7,500, the return period is the calendar month. If you do not expect it to exceed €7,500, the provisional VAT return is due every quarter. If you expect a surplus of more than €7,500 for the current calendar year, you can choose the calendar month as the reporting period instead of the calendar quarter (section 18 (2a) sentence 1 in conjunction with section 18 (2) sentence 6 of the VAT Act) .


Do not forget to electronically file a provisional VAT return with the tax office no later than the tenth day of the month following the return period. You can find an overview of suitable software products to use at  


Financial authority Germany offers the software product „ELSTER“. It`s easy to use and free for business too.

In order to submit the return electronically by “ELSTER”, you will need a certificate for security reasons. You can register for this at

You can use “ELSTER” to submit:               

  • provisional VAT return
  • annual VAT return
  • application for a permanent extension.                                                                                                 


4. How can I get a certificate for security reasons “Mein ELSTER”?

Do not forget to electronically file a provisional VAT return (value-added tax return) with the tax office no later than the 10th day of the month following the return period. You can find an overview of suitable software products to use at elsterweb/softwareprodukt. In order to submit the return electronically, you will need a certificate for security reasons.

Financial authority Germany offers the software product „ELSTER“. It`s easy to use and free for business too.

You can register for this at

Guidance to get certificate for security


Your registration with certificate file is done in two steps for security reasons. Please follow the steps one after the other. After successful completion of all steps, the personal access (login) to Mein ELSTER and the use of the personalised services are available to you.

In the first step, you first enter your personal data

These include registration for “organisation” "Für eine Organisation" (e.g. FIE, TÜ, UÜ, OÜ)

  • name of the business
  • tax number of the business (You get it after registration for VAT.)
  • contact details.

To prove your identity to the tax office, you get an email to confirm your email address.

Click on the link contained in this email.

You will then receive another email with your personal Activation ID and for security purposes you will receive separately by post a related personal Activation code. Then you can go to step 2: Activation and create certificate to continue the registration process.

  STEP 2

You have already carried out "Step 1: Personal data" and received a letter and an email with the Activation data of your personal access from the Tax office. In this step you activate your access with this data. The Activation data consist of one Activation ID (included in the email) and one Activation code(included in the letter). Only by means of both elements can your access be activated in a secure way. After completing this step, you will then have a certificate file protected by an individual password, which will be accepted by Mein Elster in the future, for example for login purposes.

Activation I - Activation data:

  • Please enter your Activation ID which you received by email and your Activation code which you received by post, to activate your personal access. In the next step you will be shown that your personal access will be activated automatically.
  • Your personal data can be assigned to you without any doubt by the Tax office and are now included in MEIN ELSTER.

Activation II - Save personal key:

  • Personal security environment

By entering your personal data in MEIN ELSTER  you are unequivocally identified by the Tax office. In this step, a personal certificate file will be created on your computer and saved by you. If a file with the same name already exists, it will be overwritten. You can change path and file name. You must keep the file.extension ".pfx". Access to the Private key contained in the file is protected by a password that you must set yourself.


 Login with a certificate file

You would like to use your personal access to “Mein ELSTER”. So that only you are able to use the personalised services, you must authenticate your access to the Portal with your certificate file, which you have acquired as part of your registration. For the Authentication enter the correct path and file name of the certificate file as well as the associated password. As soon as you click on the "Login" button, the registration will be carried out automatically. If you have acquired several personal accesses to “Mein ELSTER”, be sure to select the correct certificate file.

5. What do I have to consider, if it has no generated any sales in one or several month?

The filing of an provisional VAT return (value-added tax return) is also required if the business has not made any sales in Germany and no input tax on purchased goods or services in Germany has incurred during the advance return period.

If so, enter Zero (0) under Sales and Input tax. Otherwise, you will receive a reminder    to submit the provisional VAT return.

6. What do I have to consider, if I made intra-Community any distance sales (section 3c (1) sentences 2 and 3 of the VAT Act) and other services provided to private consumers resident in Germany?

Online sellers, including online marketplaces/platforms can register in their EU - Member State (e.g. Estonia) for the Union scheme OSS and this is valid for the declaration and payment of VAT on all cross-border distance sales of goods and cross-border supplies of services to customers within the EU (e.g. Germany).                  


The previous thresholds for distance sales of goods within the EU have been abolished and replaced by a new EU-wide threshold of EUR 10 000. Below this EUR 10 000 threshold, supplies of TBE (telecommunications, broadcasting and electronic) services and distance sales of goods within the EU may remain subject to VAT in the Member State (e.g. Estonia) where your business is established.

You can not use the Union scheme OSS, if you sell goods from your warehouse in Germany to customers in Germany, because it is not a distance sales of goods.

7. Where can I apply for a refund of German VAT?

VAT (value-added tax) must be paid for purchases of goods and services in many countries, e.g. Germany too.

The input VAT refund procedure offers you the option of being refunded for VAT, that you paid.

If your business established in Estonia, you may immediately proceed to the e-Tax/e-Customs internet portal and login by using ID-card, Mobile-ID, Smart-ID or by bank identification.

Further information can be found on the

8. How can I get German VAT identification number?

The Federal Central Tax Office will issue a VAT identification number (value-added tax identification number). If you indicate that you require a VAT identification number when first registering for tax purposes, the tax office will – once the business has been registered – submit an application, together with any further information that is required, to the Federal Central Tax Office (Bundeszentralamt für Steuern).

You can also submit an application directly to the Federal Central Tax Office.

9. Do I have to file an annual VAT return, even if I have already submitted provisional VAT returns?

After the end of the calendar year, you are obliged to submit an annual VAT return electronically to the tax office, even if there are no deviations from the previous declarations.

10. What do I have to consider, if I purchase goods in Germany for my business with destination country Estonia?

If you have purchased goods in Germany for your business, with destination country Estonia, and the place is known at the time of purchase, you have not to pay German VAT (value-added tax).


The purchase is taxable in country of destination Estonia as an intra-Community acquisition and to declare.

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