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Germany e-Bilanz electronic balance sheet annual filing Jan 2012

Germany’s Ministry of Finance has imposed the obligation for annual balance sheet electronic filings, e-Bilanz from 2013. This covers the balance sheet submitted as part of income tax filings.

Read more about German VAT in our national guide.

German e-balance sheet

This requires all accounts and general ledgers to be mapped to the German tax authority’s taxonomy or schema of accounts which follows German generally accepted accounting principles. This applies to any taxpayer, incorporated or not, that must submit a balance sheet for income tax reporting. This includes non-residents – although a non-resident VAT registration alone does not trigger this requirement. They will be presented with particular implementation challenges since they may follow International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and not German GAAP.

The reporting format is eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL). Most accounting software packages have now been adapted for the Germany e-balance sheet format.

The obligation started from 1 January 2012, although paper-based versions will still be accepted for 2012 financial reporting. Non-residents are mandated from 1 January 2015.

OECD’s Standard Audit File for Tax SAF-T

Whilst not as detailed as the Organisation for Economic Development’s SAF-T format, Germany’s e-balance sheet is a similar standard electronic format for the exchange of tax transactional data. Check which countries have implemented SAF-T.

Standard Audit File for Tax SAF-T countries

Country (click for details) Date Scope
13 Ukraine Jan 2025 Phased 2025 to 2027 implementation
12 Bulgaria Jan 2025 Phased introduction over two years
11 Denmark Jan 2024 Phased implementation from 2024
10 Romania Jan 2022 Mandatory monthly filings initially large taxpayers (due Jan 2023)
9 EU OSS & IOSS Jul 2021 On-demand for sellers, marketplaces or Intermediaries
8 Norway 2020 Replaced VAT return 2022
7 Angola 2019 On-demand
6 Lithuania 2019 On-demand; residents and non-residents above €30,000 sales threshold
5 Poland 2016 Mandatory, monthly replaced VAT return Oct 2020
4 France 2014 On-demand
3 Luxembourg 2011 On-demand
2 Austria 2009 On-demand
1 Portugal 2009 Monthly for residents and non-residents (Jun 2022)


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