The broken carriage or shipment
In the case of a broken transport or dispatch, a characteristic for the chain transaction is missing.
The delivery item does not go directly from the first entrepreneur to the last buyer. As a result, this process has to be split up into several individual deliveries that are connected in series and have to be assessed separately.
Allgreeb from Turkmenistan orders a machine from Heimann in Austria, which Heimann in turn orders from Landauer in Austria. Heimann instructs Landauer to transport the machine directly to the Heimann warehouse in Rostock. Heimann sends the machine to Turkmenistan by ship.
It is not a chain transaction, but a broken transport and dispatch. That is why two individual deliveries are made.
The delivery from Landauer to Heimann is taxable in Austria and tax-free according to § 6a Abs. 1 Nr. 1 to 3 UStG, if Heimann vis-à-vis Landauer with his German USt-IdNr. occurs. Heimann makes a taxable, but tax-free intra-community acquisition in Germany according to § 4b No. 4 UStG.
If Heimann uses his Austrian VAT ID number to Landauer, he indicates that he would like to make a taxable purchase. Landauer then makes a taxable and taxable delivery in Austria.
In both cases, Heimann makes a taxable (§ 3 Paragraph 6 UStG) but tax-free export delivery according to § 6 Paragraph 1 No. 1 UStG with the delivery to Allgreeb.
Attention: The BMF letter of December 7, 2015 (BStBl I 2015, 1014) contains a new simplification regulation in section 3.14, paragraph 19, sentence 2 UStAE in this context.
Participants in a chain transaction
As already said, a chain transaction must have at least three participants. Beyond the number three, the number of participants is not limited.
Private end customer as the last customer
It is also a chain transaction if private buyers, i.e. non-entrepreneurs, are the last buyers in the sales transaction. You must also apply all of the principles already mentioned in such a case. However, a private end user does not have a VAT ID number.
Therefore, the prerequisites for the taxation of an intra-community acquisition do not exist here if the goods get from one EU member state to another.
Here, § 3c UStG applies, the so-called mail order regulation. But be careful, if the private end user picks up the goods themselves, other regulations apply. There are also special features in the delivery of vehicles.
To make it easier for you, here is a small example:
The Dutch privateer Gogh buys for his house in the Netherlands in Germany from the furniture store Chic Möbel / Aachen. The furniture store orders the goods from the furniture maker Fromm / Trier. The furniture maker Fromm has the goods sent directly to the privateer Gogh. Fromm and Chic use their German VAT ID number.
The actual movement of goods takes place through the cabinet maker Fromm von Trier in the Netherlands. The 1st delivery is the dispatch delivery, therefore the start of the transport is in Trier. The 2nd delivery is the dormant delivery that follows the transport delivery.
The end of the carriage is in the Netherlands. In this chain transaction, two deliveries are made. The delivery from Fromm to Chic is the dispatch delivery.
Why? Quite simply because Fromm is the first in line to have the transport carried out.
The place of delivery is in Germany and is therefore taxable and subject to tax.
At the furniture store Chic, the turnover is subject to the taxation of an intra-Community acquisition in the Netherlands because the shipment ends there.
If the furniture store Chic cannot prove an intra-community acquisition in the Netherlands, it must pay tax on the intra-community acquisition in Germany.
The 2nd delivery from the furniture store Chic to the privateer Gogh is the dormant delivery. The place of delivery is in the Netherlands, as the shipment ends there.
The delivery must be assessed according to Dutch law. The furniture store Chic has to register in the Netherlands.
If the furniture store Chic had used a Dutch VAT ID number, the delivery from Fromm to Chic would be tax-free, as there is an intra-Community delivery. However, only if Fromm also fulfills the requirements.
The chain transaction calculator
To make it easier for you to assess chain transactions, there is the chain transaction calculator .
In the free area you will find 3000 examples that can be helpful. In the chargeable area, around 5000 examples with evaluations.
If you are still unsure, let the IHK or your tax advisor advise you.
This article can only give you a little insight into the VAT consequences of cross-border chain transactions and complex delivery constellations. There are more than 5000 options, the comprehensive assessment of which should be carried out in case of doubt by an expert from the Chamber of Industry and Commerce or the tax advisor so that you do not give away any money to the tax authorities.