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Tax & Legal

Tax & Legal

New Finance Ministry circular on standards for the proper keeping and storage of books, records and documents in electronic form and for data access


On 28 November 2019 the Federal Ministry of Finance (MoF) issued a revised circular on standards for the proper keeping and storage of books, records and documents in electronic form and for data access (here “GoBD”) – ( IV A 4 – S 0316/19/10003 :001 (2019/0962810). Continue reading

Bundesrat approves Finance Act 2019


In its plenary session last Friday, the Bundesrat approved the Act on the Further Tax Promotion of Electric Mobility and the Amendment of Further Tax Regulations (“Finance Act 2019”) Continue reading

Inheritance Tax: spousal residence exemption


According to the Supreme Tax Court in its judgment of 11 July 2019 – (II R 38/16), published on 28 November 2019, the inheritance tax exemption on the inheritance a family home by the surviving spouse or civil partner will not apply retroactively where the surviving spouse/partner transfers ownership of the family home to a third party within ten years of acquisition. This will also be the case where the surviving spouse/partner continues to use the home for residential purposes under the terms of a lifetime interest. Continue reading

Bundestag approve Finance Act 2019


On 7 November 2019, the Bundestag approved the Act on the Further Tax Promotion of Electric Mobility and the Amendment of Further Tax Regulations (Finance Act 2019 – “FA19”) in the version recommended by the Finance Committee of the Bundestag. In its recommendation, the Finance Committee included a number of the Bundesrat’s regulatory proposals. Continue reading

No trade tax add-back for letting of hotel rooms to tour operators


According to the Supreme Tax Court in its ruling of 25 July 2019 (III R 22/16), published on 7 November 2019, fees paid by a tour operator to hoteliers for the provision of hotel rooms are not subject to the trade tax add-back. Under Section 8 No. 1 Letters d and e of the Trade Tax Act, rental and leasing payments made for the use of moveable and immoveable assets which have previously been deducted from the income tax/corporation tax base, are to be partially added back to trade tax base, where the asset would be treated as an asset in the balance sheet of the taxpayer, if he actually owned the asset. Continue reading

CFC rules considered to be in line with EU law


Following a ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) earlier this year, the Supreme Tax Court held in its decision of 31 October 2019 that the incorporation into the tax base of controlled company income from invested capital from an intermediary company domiciled in Switzerland in the financial year 2006 may restrict the free movement of capital, but it is justified through compelling reasons of public interest and does not therefore contravene EU law. Continue reading

UPDATE: Land Tax Reform published in Federal Gazette on 2 December 2019


The coalition factions’ bill on the reform of the land taxes and valuation laws (Land Tax Reform Act), which was passed by the Bundestag on 18 October 2019  and approved by the Bundesrat on 8 November 2019 was published in the Federal Gazette on 2 December 2019 as the Act on the Reform of the Land Taxes and Valuation Laws

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Finance Bill 2019 gets green light from Federal Cabinet


On 31 July, the Federal Cabinet adopted a draft Finance Bill 2019 referred to as the “Act on the Further Tax Promotion of Electric Mobility and on the Amendment of Further Tax Regulations”. As its name suggests the bill focuses on tax incentives for electro-mobility but includes legislation in numerous other areas of tax law. Continue reading