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What taxes are there for online shop operators?

Do you have an online shop? This means that you have registered a trade. So you have to deal with at least three types of in the future Taxes for online shop operators to do: sales tax, business tax and income tax. Depending on the type of company, corporate income tax may also apply. You can find out more about this in this article!


  1. What taxes are there for business?
  2. What is sales tax?
  3. What is the business tax?
  4. What is Income Tax?
  5. What is corporation tax?

What taxes are there for business?

As soon as income is generated in Germany through self-employment, taxes are due for the established business. Thereby stand with the value added tax and the Income tax two types of tax in the center. Because these two taxes are falling for every trade as taxes, while the due date of the other types of tax depends on various criteria.

What is sales tax?

The most important tax for entrepreneurs is sales tax. Because with the start of a self-employed activity - regardless of whether it is started as a sole proprietorship, in the form of a trade or a company - the VAT liability arises. This obliges companies to collect VAT from their customers.

How is sales tax handled?

The state is involved in all goods transactions and services through sales tax. The entrepreneur adds sales tax to every invoice. In the invoice, the sales tax is referred to as VAT. The customer pays the tax with every purchase or with every invoice to the supplier or service provider. But the VAT does not belong to the entrepreneur who collects it. Rather, the tax collected belongs to the state. The entrepreneur therefore pays the collected tax to the tax office in the form of sales tax. At the same time, the self-employed and companies are allowed to deduct the sales tax they have paid themselves to third parties from their tax liability. This is the so-called input tax deduction.

How does the input tax deduction work?

Companies subject to VAT must deal with VAT in two different situations:

  • On the one hand, they take sales tax in the form of VAT from their customers a. As soon as the VAT is received in the company's account, it is referred to as the VAT received and posted accordingly.
  • On the other hand, companies have to deal with their own purchases or orders pay VAT yourself. The VAT charged by the supplier, which companies pay with their incoming invoices, is referred to as input tax paid. Companies may deduct the amounts of input tax paid from the sales tax they have received. You only have to pay the remaining amount to the tax office as a sales tax liability. The input tax deduction means that companies can declare as business expenses for purchases and services that they use for their business, effectively no sales tax pay.

Taxes for online shop operators: sales tax or small business regulation?

The treatment of sales tax is associated with considerable effort for companies. In the first step, the sales tax must be collected from the customer via the invoice. It is then entered in the accounts separately from the net value of goods or services as tax received.

Finally, regular sales tax returns are to be made in order to report the collected sales tax to the tax office and to pay it out. At the end of a calendar year, an annual sales tax return must also be drawn up. For many entrepreneurs who only have low income, the expense caused by sales tax is disproportionately large. Therefore, affected entrepreneurs can decide whether they want to choose the small business regulation instead of the standard taxation.

What is the small business regulation?

For companies that less than 22,000 euros in sales per year There is a special regulation: the small business regulation. Anyone who can claim this does not need to deal with sales tax at first. At the same time, however, small businesses do not have to deduct input tax. Conclusion: Weigh up carefully whether you want to use the small business regulation.

What are the requirements for the small business regulation?

If you want to set up an online shop and at the same time make the tax simple, you can assume the status of small business owner under the given conditions. To obtain small business owner status, companies must meet two basic requirements:

  1. In the previous year the turnover was less than 22,000 euros
    simultaneously
  2. In the current year sales will be the Amount of 50,000 euros probably not to exceed

How do you become a small business owner?

Entrepreneurs can accept the small business regulation at any time. If the company has already existed for some time, the owner can switch from the regular taxation to the small business regulation. If he meets the requirements for the status of a small business owner, he must submit an informal application to his responsible tax office.

After registering the business, founders receive a questionnaire on tax registration from their responsible tax office. There they indicate their expected sales. If these are within the maximum limits for the small business regulation, you can indicate on the questionnaire in the place provided for this purpose whether you want to accept the status of small business or choose the regular taxation.

Establish an online shop and simplify taxes - What are the advantages and disadvantages of the small business regulation?

What are the advantages?

The Administrative burden in the bookkeeping of small business owners is considerably easier than for companies, which are obliged to regular taxation. Because the numerous administrative steps within accounting in addition to the creation of advance VAT returns cost the company time and money. Small business owners benefit from the fact that they can easily enter income and expenses in their accounting and do not have to make regular sales tax returns.

The small business regulation not only ensures that the administrative burden for companies that use them is less expensive. Since small business owners do not collect sales tax from their customers, they especially can theirs Prices much more attractive shape. The favorable pricing gives small business owners a significant competitive advantage over their taxable competitors. However, the price advantage is only reflected if the small business owner's clientele is made up of private individuals. Because commercial customers only pay attention to the amount of the net prices due to the input tax deduction.

What are the disadvantages of the small business regulation?

Small business owners can no input tax paid assert. Since they do not collect sales tax, they cannot, for example, deduct the tax as an online shop. Depending on the type of company, this can lead to financial disadvantages compared to regular taxation.

The advantage of pricing through the small business regulation is only worthwhile if the status is retained in the long term. Because a change to regular taxation means that prices have to be redesigned and adjusted. This can noticeably reduce a carefully built-up customer base. Therefore, the Adjustment of prices usually too substantial Lost sales.

What is the business tax?

Business tax is one of the other taxes for online shop operators. The tax is precisely regulated by the trade tax law GewStG. The trade tax is a source of income for cities and municipalities. It is paid by local companies. A shop and public traffic are not required for this. Online shop operators pay this tax like any other business owner.

Who has to pay business tax?

The trade tax falls for each trader depending on the nature of his activity at. As a rule, the registration of a commercial company leads to business tax being incurred.

Of the Trade tax exempt are basically freelancers, such as tax consultants, architects or doctors, as well as forest and agricultural companies. Online shop operators, on the other hand, usually sell goods and are therefore subject to trade tax. However, trade tax is only due if more than 24,500 euros a year be earned. The 24,500 euros are an allowance that is deducted even if the income is higher.

How high is the tax? - Business tax depends on sales and location

The trade tax is not the same everywhere in Germany. That sounds absurd at first, but how much trade tax you pay depends on the so-called trade tax multiplier, which each municipality is allowed to set for itself within the legally prescribed limits. A low business tax multiplier can make a location attractive for business settlements. You can find out how to calculate your trade tax in another article.

What is Income Tax?

In Germany, income tax is payable on the income of natural persons. Income tax is precisely regulated in the Income Tax Act EStG. Accordingly, all natural persons who are domiciled in Germany have unlimited income tax liability. The amount of income tax to be paid depends on the income that is to be taxed. It is irrelevant how the income came about.

What types of income must be taxed?

The Income Tax Act specifies exactly which forms of income are taxable. This includes income from:

  • independent work
  • Commercial enterprise
  • Agriculture and Forestry
  • non-self-employed work (wage tax)
  • Capital assets
  • Rental and leasing
  • Other income, such as through licensing

Which companies have to pay income tax?

In addition, income tax generally falls depending on the legal form of the company at. Income tax only affects corporate forms of natural persons, which include, for example, the following:

Income tax - adjust prepayments

Everyone pays income tax on taxable income. It can be very different for the self-employed: one year top, the next flop. As a result, however, the income tax to be paid also fluctuates. With the tax assessment, the tax office always determines the amount of the income tax prepayments for the coming year. Quarterly, what corresponds to the tax burden from the last tax return is then debited. This can be inappropriate for the current tax year because you are making either a lot more or a lot less sales. Then you should definitely have the prepayment rates adjusted so that you neither pay too much nor too little. An informal application to the tax office is sufficient. Sure, everything is cleared up with the tax return. You get back taxes you paid too much. But you didn't have this money for months. And what if there is no repayment but a high additional payment and you have not put the money aside for it?

What is corporation tax?

The Corporation tax is the opposite of income tax. While income tax is incurred on the income of natural persons, corporation tax is incurred for companies that are considered legal entities. These include the so-called corporations as well as associations and other forms of business.

Who has to pay corporation tax?

The term legal person denotes the grouping of persons or assets, while the association or society is recognized as an independent legal person. As a result, the legal person has rights and obligations that are similar to those of a natural person. Legal persons include, for example

  • Corporations such as GmbH or AG
  • Business cooperatives
  • Registered associations e.V.

and more.

Anyone who joins together with other self-employed people when setting up an online shop can, for example, register the company as a GmbH. In this case, the entrepreneurs who jointly set up the online shop pay tax both for personal income and for the company. Income tax is due on the income of the shareholders, while taxes in the form of corporation tax must also be paid for the trade.

Who doesn't have to pay corporate income tax?

Entrepreneurs who set up an online shop structure their taxes relatively easily, as long as they run their business as sole proprietors. You don't have to worry about corporate tax.

Recommendation:
If you want to set up an online shop, you should find out exactly which legal form is most favorable for your company in terms of tax.