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Tax & Legal

Tax & Legal

Restrictions to the “tainting effect” of trading partnership income for trade tax purposes


For income tax purposes, income of a partnership from leasing and letting or from capital assets is to be reclassified as trading income where the partnership also receives a negligible amount of income from a participation in a trading partnership; however, such “tainted” income is not subject to trade tax. This was decided by the Supreme Tax Court in its ruling of 6 June 2019, published on 1 August 2019. Continue reading

Locker can constitute a fixed place of business for double tax treaty purposes


The Supreme Tax Court refused to overturn the tax court’s decision to refuse leave to appeal, agreeing with the lower court that a locker can constitute a fixed place of business within the meaning of Article XI Paragraph 1 of the German/British double tax treaty. Continue reading

Sky subscription for German football league games may constitute income-generating costs


The Supreme Tax Court has ruled the expenses of a football trainer for a Sky subscription to German football league (“Bundes League”) games may be treated as tax-deductible expenses from self-employed income. The appellant was a full-time trainer of goal keepers working in licensed football. Continue reading

Refinancing by leasing companies: treatment of notional interest portion of leasing instalments


According to a decision of the Supreme Tax Court, the leasing instalments paid in cases of refinancing by a leasing company were also to be included in the calculation of the trade tax base. The bank privilege in the Trade Tax Implementation Ordinance did not apply to the notional interest portion of the leasing instalment. Continue reading

Extended trade tax deduction also possible for shareholdings in real estate management companies


Under the extended trade tax deduction, rental income derived by entities whose activities are limited to the administration of their own real property is deductible from the trading income subject to trade tax. The Grand Senate of the Supreme Tax Court held that this trade tax deduction is also available for a commercial GmbH & Co. KG with respect to its interest in a pure asset-management civil law partnership. Continue reading

Non-deductible deemed business expenses not to be derived from merger profits within a tax group


If a corporation is merged into its parent company, which in turn is a controlled company within a corporation tax group (fiscal unity/“Organschaft”) with a corporation as the controlling company (“Organträger”), the Supreme Tax Court has ruled that no flat-rate deemed business expenses are to be added back to profits under Section 8b (3) sentence 1 of the German Corporation Tax Act (CTA) either at the level of the parent company or at the level of the controlled company, where the said non-deductible flat-rate deemed business expenses are derived from a merger gain. Continue reading

Unlimited tax liability with dual residency


The fact that a taxpayer has both a residence in Germany and a residence abroad does not, according to a ruling by the Supreme Tax Court, preclude the existence if an unlimited tax liability even when the foreign residence constitutes the centre of the taxpayer’s vital interests Continue reading

Input tax deduction for advance payment despite non-delivery of ordered goods


The purchaser of thermal power units, which were not delivered due to fraud, shall not be denied the right to deduct input tax from an advance payment if the supply appeared to be certain at the time of payment. In three decisions, the Supreme Tax Court follows a judgment of the European Court of Justice (ECJ), to which it has referred the cases earlier for a preliminary ruling. Continue reading