Tax-free phone, Internet now available for some TKS customers

Installation Management Command Europe officials recently announced that eligible U.S. Forces Telepost Kabel-Service customers will be able to use Value Added Tax forms to avoid paying VAT taxes on their landline telephone and Internet service beginning this month.

All U.S. Department of Defense personnel or ID cardholders who normally qualify for German VAT exemption will now also be able to save 19 percent on their monthly TKS bills.

The authorization to use VAT forms applies only to existing and new TKS services that run on a month-to-month basis. Contracts with a minimum duration of one or two years do not qualify for a VAT exemption.

“Using VAT forms for subscription types of services such as utilities and telephone service has not been possible in the past, at least in part because VAT forms are not authorized in conjunction with long-term contracts,” said Rafael Wunsch, with Installation Management Command Europe. “Utilities and telephones are generally supplied based on such one- or two-year contracts.”

The basic premise is that TKS adjusted their product offering so that the landline phone service can now be put on a month-to-month subscription rather than a one- or two-year contract.

“The way the program works is that U.S. Forces members provide TKS with a regular VAT form every month before the first of the month and TKS will then deduct the taxes from the bill at the end of that month,” Wunsch said. “Members can also provide TKS with multiple forms, but IMCOM Europe officials recommend providing not more than three forms in advance for this purpose.”

For every month that a service member provides a VAT form before the first day of the month the value-added tax will be deducted. For every month that a service member does not provide a form (or send it in late) the VAT will be added to the bill.

Members are responsible for tracking, proper processing, and turn-in of used VAT forms. White and pink copies of the VAT forms turned in to TKS for processing tax-free landline phone service will be mailed back to the customer.
For more information, call the U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart VAT Tax Relief Office at 431-3368/civ. 07031-15-3368.