The German Ministry of Finance (BMF) issued guidance that includes its position concerning the value added tax (VAT) treatment of bitcoin and other “virtual currencies.”
Following the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in a 2015 case—Hedqvist (C-264/14, 22 October 2015)—the BMF’s position is that:
This position applies to all open cases in Germany. These principles also apply to other virtual currencies insofar as the currencies have been accepted by the parties to the transaction as an alternative contractual and direct payment instrument, and do not serve any purpose other than use as a payment instrument. Thus, these principles do not apply to virtual play money. In addition, the BMF guidance addresses certain follow-up questions in relation to the VAT treatment of bitcoin (relating to, for example, services of miners, fees for wallets, services of operators of a trading platform).
Other recent VAT developments that may affect businesses in Germany include the following items:
Read an April 2018 report [PDF 285 KB] prepared by the KPMG member firm in Germany
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