German VAT on coins to change

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by Ursula Kampmann

November 13, 2012 – There is a lot of confusion regarding the German policy of changing the VAT rate on objects of art and collectors’ items. Some media actually referred that the VAT was to raise to 19 percent from January 1, 2013. The VAT raise, however, has been suspended for one more year. Only from January 1, 2014 the VAT will be of 19 percent on all collectors’ coins – right now bullion coins in gold seem to be still exempt.

Distributors and resellers in particular will face administrative difficulties. The art market, indeed, succeeded in negotiating a 19 percent tax on 30 percent of the selling price. In fact, this law has not yet passed legislation, but it is very likely that it will. The appliance of this kind of tax to coins is still debated, though. On this point the supplement to the German VAT law – § 25a Abs. 2 Satz 1 Nr. 1 – and the statement to the minutes of the Council regarding the Council Directive 94/5/EG of February 14, 1994 disagree.

Keep yourself and your distributors and retailers up-to-date! This VAT change might become a heavy burden for the collectors’ wallet.