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Tax & Legal

German Finance Minister talks “minimum taxation”


According to various statements of the German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz on 22 May 2019, a system of international minimum taxation will be discussed at the forthcoming G20 (June 2019) and G7 (August 2019) meetings. The aim is to agree such a system (within the terms of the Global Anti-Base Erosion “GloBE” agenda and given the name “BEPS 2.0”) with the other 128 states of the OECD in the Summer of 2020. Continue reading

State of Lower Saxony Tax Authorities issue directive announcing deviation from the rule of discounting certain liabilities during low- /negative- interest phases for banks


According to Section 6(1) no. 3 Income Tax Act, non-interest-bearing liabilities with terms of at least 12 months, which do not constitute a deposit or advance payment, are to be discounted, i.e. a fictitious interest component (interest rate 5.5%) is initially deducted from profits and added back to profits in subsequent years as notional interest over the term of the loan.
The directive states that, for certain liabilities of banks, no discounting within the meaning of Section 6(1) no. 3 Income Tax Act should occur.
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Ministry of Finance release new form for reporting foreign relationships


The Ministry of Finance has published a new form for reporting foreign relationships according to Section 138 (2) of the General Tax Code (GTC). The new form replaces the form originally included in the Ministry of Finance’s guidelines on the application of Section 138 (2) and Section 138b of the GTC dated 5 February 2018. Continue reading

Finance Bill 2019: proposed changes to the real estate transfer tax regulations in the case of so-called shares deals


Following the discussions of the Conference of Finance Ministers of the Federal States, the government has included in the Finance Bill 2019 amended regulations in respect of so-called “share deals” in real estate transactions. Aim of the proposed rules is a tightening of the financial framework around the indirect “transfers” of real estate held through companies and other associations of persons. The draft bill includes the following amendments: Continue reading

Draft Finance Bill 2019: Bill for the Further Tax Stimulation of Electric Mobility and on the Amendment of Further Tax Regulations


On 8 May 2019, the Federal Ministry of Finance published a draft bill for the proposed legislation on the further tax stimulation of electro-mobility and changes to other tax regulations. The proposed Act on the Further Tax Stimulation of Electric Mobility and on the Amendment of Further Tax Regulations provides for measures for to give tax incentives to environmentally friendly mobility, as well as providing amendments to various areas of tax legislation requiring technical adjustments.further The draft also looks to introduce legislation to combat tax structuring schemes and secure tax revenue. Furthermore, the draft bill integrates makes necessary alignements to EU law and case law of the European Court of Justice (ECJ). The draft bill also contains the expected regulations to limit of  the avoidance of real estate transfer tax through so-called share deals. Continue reading

Input VAT claims and Brexit


Prior to the announcement on 21 March 2019 that Brexit may be postponed until either 12 April 2019, 22 May 2019 or possibly later, the British tax and customs authorities (HMRC) issued guidance on 18 March 2019 on the changes to VAT IT systems in the event of the United Kingdom leaving the EU on 29 March 2019 without a deal. Continue reading

Response of tax authorities to European Court of Justice’s decision on the “activity requirement” for trade tax exemptions on dividends from third countries


The tax authorities of the Federal States have issued a joint response to the ECJ’s decision in EV (C-685/16) on 20 September 2018, in which the Court decided that the “activity requirement,” contained in the rule providing for a trade tax exemption on distributions from third countries contravened EU law. Continue reading

Federal Finance Ministry circular on the tax treatment of salaries for tax treaty purposes is updated.


The Federal Finance Ministry circular of 12 November 2014 on the taxation of salaries for tax treaty purposes has been revised by a committee made up of from both the Federal and the States’ governments. The new version recognises OECD developments as well as recent case law and relevant changes in the legislation. Continue reading