Tax relief found under SOFA

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Family & MWR – VAT & UTAP Office

Service members, civilian employees and family members who fall under the Status of Forces Agreement are eligible for the VAT and UTAP tax savings. The Value Added Tax (VAT) is imposed by Germany on a wide variety of goods and services. Most retail goods are taxed at 19 percent, while food, lodging, and certain other goods are taxed at 7 percent. The Utility Tax Avoidance Programs offers savings on utilities.

VAT (Value Added Tax) Office:

Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (open during lunch) for walk-in service.

For purchases less than €2,500 net price (after tax), a VAT form NF-1 will be used. Not all vendors accept the VAT form, since this is a voluntary program. VAT forms may be purchased for $10 for the NF-1 VAT form, and each sponsor may only have 10 open forms out at any one time.

IMPORTANT: You must have a VAT form in hand before committing to the purchase of goods or services. VAT forms cannot be used for costs related to buying or selling real estate, purchase of automobiles that will NOT be registered in the USAEUR vehicle registration system, and for any items used in a commercial activity (such as a home business). They may also not be used for long-term utility, telephone and internet contracts.

For purchases of €2500 or greater, a NF-2 VAT form will be used. This form costs $100. Contact the VAT Office before making any commitment to purchase an item €2,500 or more in order to start the process. These purchases must be made out to CMWRF or Stuttgart Tax Relief Office and the person making the purchase.

Pre-order your VAT forms, for details

UTAP (Utility Tax Avoidance Program)

8 a.m.-5 p.m. (open during lunch) for walk-in service.

Personnel may be exempted from utility taxes through the Utility Tax Avoidance Program. Enrollment in this program may be mandatory for some personnel receiving housing or Living Quarters Allowance. There is a fee of $99 for enrollment. Download the application form or contact the UTAP through our webpage:

Prohibited practices

  • Using an un-priced purchase order (NF-1) for any amount of €2,500 or more.
  • Using an un-priced (NF-1) or priced (NF-2) purchase order after the fact.
  • Splitting invoice amounts between two or more un-priced (NF-1) purchase orders to avoid using a priced (NF-2) purchase order for an amount of €2,500 or more.
  • Purchasing goods or services that benefit ineligible persons.
  • Buying used automobiles, repair parts or services for resale.
  • Buying items for resale or commercial purposes.
  • Buying new or used automobiles from German vendors for registration in the German (or other non-U.S. Forces) vehicle registration system (Kfz-Zulassung).
  • Using VAT forms for costs related to buying or selling real estate.
  • Using VAT forms for construction, renovation or home improvements.
  • Using VAT forms for utilities or telecom services based on long-term contracts.
  • Making other purchases that are prohibited by AE 215-6/USAFE Instruction 34-102.
  • Returning VAT forms that are not completed properly.
  • Using an expired VAT form (VAT forms have a validity of 2 years) from date of issue.

For more information, on the VAT program, call DSN: 314-596-3678 or CIV: +49 (0)9641-70-596-3678. For more information on the UTAP program, call DSN: 314-596-3452/3366/3453 or CIV: +49 (0)9641-70-596-3452/3366/3453.