VAT is a general consumption tax that is levied directly on the goods and services consumed by customers in Germany.

The different VAT rates in Germany are:

Rate Type Goods and services
19% Standard All other taxable goods and services
7% Reduced Certain foods, firewood, medical and dental care, water supplies, medical equipment for disabled persons, books,…
0% Zero Intra-community and international transport (excluding road and rail and some inland waterways transport)


The VAT rate on meals (excluding beverages) provided in restaurants and other catering services has been temporarily reduced from 19% to 7% during the Covid-19 pandemic. This reduction ends 31 December 2023.

Additionally, the supply of gas and heat are now also taxed at 7% from 1 October 2022 until 31 March 2024 due to the increase energy costs for private households.

There is an exemption limit for gifts. In 2024, this limit is €50. In 2023 this limit was €35.

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