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Tax & Legal

Real estate transfer tax: cancellation of a real estate transfer agreement


In its decision of 4 November 2009 (II B 48/19), published on 16 January 2020, the Supreme Tax Court held that Section 16(1) No. 2 Real Estate Transfer Act (“RETT Act”) did not provide for a time limit for the cancellation of purchase transactions. The special limitation period set out in Section 16 (4) RETT related to the cancellation of the agreement itself and not to the date on which an application was made to cancel the RETT assessment. Furthermore, in the circumstances, the cancellation was not a “retroactive event” within the meaning of Section 175 (1) Sentence 1 No. 2 of the General Tax Code. Continue reading

Outsourcing finanancial services – VAT exemption


Services are provided to a bank operating automated teller machines (ATMs) which consist of setting up and maintaining these machines, replenishing them with cash and equipping them with hardware and software for reading the cash card data, forwarding authorisation requests for cash withdrawals to the bank which issued the cash card used, making the desired cash withdrawal and registering withdrawal transactions are not tax exempt supplies with the meaning of Section 4 No. 8 letter d of the VAT Act. This was the finding of the Supreme Tax Court on 13 November 2019, published on 19 December 2019. Continue reading

Climate Protection Progamme 2030 – Approved by Bundestag and Bundesrat


On 25 October 2019, the German Bundestag discussed the implementation of the climate protection programme 2030 into tax law. This was followed by a public hearing on 6 November 2019.

The bill for the implementation of the climate protection programme 2030 in tax law had been adopted by the Federal Government on 16 October 2019.

The amendments to the law will initiate tax measures designed to support climate protection in the areas of transport, housing and energy generation.

UPDATE: The Act has now been approved by the Bundestag (19 December 2019) and by the Bundesrat (20 December 2019) Continue reading

Referral to European Court of Justice: VAT exemption for the development and brokerage of insurance products


Does an insurance broker, who makes- in addition to his brokerage activities -a brokered insurance product available to an insurance company, provide VAT-exempt services? The Supreme Tax Court considered this doubtful and decided on 5 September 2019 ( V R 58/17), to refer the question to the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) for a preliminary ruling.  Continue reading

Proof of VAT-exempt intra-Community supplies


For the purposes of establishing whether an VAT-exempt intra-Community supply had been made, where other evidence exists establishing that the motor vehicles had been sent to their destination in the other EU country, the assumption of the absence of documentary evidence could not contradict such other evidence.

The proof of the customer’s entrepreneurial status resulting from the VAT ID number cannot be refuted by the mere assumption of a letterbox address. Continue reading