In tax law, lawyers can usually argue even more than is not otherwise the case in civil and industrial property law. A legal question which forms an intersection with Internet law is the question whether VAT is included in the prices of a small businessman in accordance with Paragraph 19 of the UStG or in the case of differential taxation under Paragraph 25a of the UStG, and whether, therefore, a reference to “including VAT” in the prices, for example in an online shop where orders from online services or on marketplaces such as Ebay are required.

On the subject of differential taxation, there has now been a decision of the Hamburg Regional Court regarding an EBay seller. A competitor had warned the EBay seller that he did not specify VAT, but merely stated that the invoicing was carried out by means of differential taxation in accordance with Paragraph 25a of the UStG. According to the District Court of Hamburg, this is not agreed with Sections 1 II No. 1 and 1 VI of the Price Indications Ordinance and is therefore not permitted. In its decision, the Court ignored the not uncontroversial and complex tax problems.

It is therefore advisable to include the note. VAT. However, there must be no reference to differential taxation and to the change in the way in which it is applied to normal taxation. Otherwise, there is a consumer misinformation or even a deception and the own offer can be warned for another reason.

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