VAT forms do’s and don’ts|
Posted 7/11/2012 Updated 7/11/2012
by Senior Airman Natasha Stannard
52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
7/11/2012 - SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany -- The U.S. Forces value-added tax relief program is a privilege here provided by the German government through the 52nd Force Support Squadron VAT office to Sabers and their families.
The purpose of the program is to take Germany's sales tax of 19 percent off purchases for personal items that are not for resale.
"It is a privilege - it can be taken away -- to offset the difference of what we would pay in our own country," said Marciala Rudd, 52nd FSS VAT office representative.
There are two types of VAT forms. One is the NF-1 which is for purchases up to 2,499 Euro and the other is the NF-2 which is for purchases more than 2,500 Euro.
Military members must bring their official orders and a military ID to purchase a VAT form for the first time, and civilian workers with VAT privileges must bring proof of logistical support and an ID card.
VAT forms may only be used by the individual who purchased the form and cannot be used to purchase items on behalf of individuals not entitled to tax relief.
"Just because a vendor accepts a VAT from, it does not necessarily mean that the tax free purchase complied with legal requirements," said Rafael Wunsch, Installation Management Command Europe Tax relief program manager.
VAT forms are not accepted if used for:
· Purchases more than 2,500 Euro even if combining forms unless using the NF-2 VAT form
· Business purchases
· Purchases using payment plans
· Utilities based on long-term contracts
· Legal and other administrative fees in connection with purchase or sale of real estate
· Costs associated with home construction, improvement, renovation or customized furnishings with the exception of minor repairs
· Vehicle purchases for vehicles not in the U.S. Army in Europe vehicle registry
High-value art, precious metal and kitchen purchases must be reviewed by the VAT office staff prior to purchase.
Members may have up to 10 forms out at a time, and the forms expire after two years. Forms must also be turned back into the VAT office upon leaving germany whether or not they are used for purchases.
"Once you accumulate 10, you won't be able to purchase any more unless you return some," Rudd said of the forms.
There are two sections to the forms; one goes to only the vendor and the other section has three copies. The white copy is returned to the VAT office, the vendor keeps the yellow copy and purchasers keep the pink copy.
Rudd, recommends customers keep receipts with their copies of the VAT form just in case there is missing information from vendors such as what the purchase was for and the amount.
"The receipt is your safety net," she said. "It's good to keep it with your records."
If people lose less than 10 VAT forms, they can fill out a loss form. However, loss and VAT forms should not be abused as all forms are turned in and examined by the customs agency here.
"If you continue to lose forms or just don't turn them in and continue to use more forms, it looks like negligence," Rudd said.
VAT forms can be purchased at the VAT and utility tax avoidance program office in Bldg. 126 room 109, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Friday, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. holidays and down days. The cost of NF-1 VAT forms is $4 and NF-2 VAT forms cost $6.
For more information, visit http://www.52fss.com/NewFiles/vat-utap.html.