Tax Relief Office
Ledward Barracks, Bldg. 224
09721-96-1780 or DSN 354-1780
Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
(closed for lunch, 1 - 2 p.m.)
Closed U.S. and German Holidays
Germany has a 19% Value Added Tax (VAT). The Tax Relief Office (TRO) has VAT forms that may be used by ID cardholders and MWR Unit Funds to save money on purchases. Buy VAT forms before making large purchases on the economy and you may save as much as 16% on materials and services (clothing, furniture, car repairs, etc.). Customers should remember that European vendors are under no obligation to sell tax-free good and services. It is best to show the VAT form to the vendor before you are ready to make a purchase. For transactions under 2,500 Euros, the fee is $4 per form.
For transactions over 2,500 Euros, the fee is $6 per form and requires a check from the TRO. For purchases over 2,500 Euros, the customer needs to provide a cost estimate from the vendor and pay the TRO either in cash or certified check issued from the bank or a vendor made out to CMWRF.
This program has been in place since 1985 and most vendors near U.S. installations in Europe are already familiar with the forms and processes. This program does not provide support for home-based businesses, major home remodeling or new construction projects, or for seeking tax-reimbursement after a customer has already bought materials or services.
Registration for the Utility Tax Avoidance Program (UTAP) is a tax saving that is open to all authorized members of the U.S. Forces who occupy economy housing. Customers are required to provide the TRO the first bill received, a copy of rental agreement or proof of ownership, DEROS date and must pay a one-time $77 service fee. Give us a call to see if we have an agreement with your utility company.
Instructions to German vendors for completing VAT forms
Utilities Tax Avoidance Program (UTAP)
Generally utilities for personal use in economy housing (off-post) are taxed in Europe. The US Forces are able to assist in avoiding these taxes for eligible US Forces members in many (but not all) areas in Germany. The program that legally prevents this taxation is called Utilities Tax Avoidance Program.