Tax & Legal

Tax & Legal

To be or not to be: Disc Jockey versus brand ambassador

Is the income earned by a disc jockey taxable as income from a trade or business? Thanks to the persistence of a member of this profession, the question has now been answered. The lawsuit of a disc jockey against his local tax office which took the income as genuine business income was successful: The regional tax court of Duesseldorf held that as an artist he generates income from self-employment and therefore is not subject to trade tax. Continue reading

Credit of Canadian withholding tax on dividends also for trade tax?

The Regional Tax Court of Hesse held that withholding tax levied in Canada on dividends distributed by a Canadian corporation to a German corporation should be credited against German trade tax. The tax authorities have in the meantime launched an appeal against this judgment and the case is now pending before the Supreme Tax Court for final clarification. Continue reading

Loss on exchange of profit participation rights can be offset against investment income

The Regional Tax Court of Muenster held that a loss from the exchange of profit participation rights for shares in a registered cooperative (“eG”) and bonds may be set off against income from capital investments. Thus, the tax office’s attempt to regard the loss as belonging to the non-taxable private asset portfolio of the plaintiff failed. Continue reading

Penalties due to incomplete cross border documentation in breach of EU law?

In its referral to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for a preliminary ruling, the Regional Tax Court of Bremen raises doubts as to whether the penalty surcharge under Section 162 (4) Fiscal Code due on failure to present proper documentation in cross border business relations is in line with the freedom of establishment in Art. 49 TFEU and the freedom to provide services (Art. 56 TFEU). Continue reading

Additional severance payment for earlier termination of employment also tax-privileged

The mutual termination of an employment is normally (also) in the interest of the employer. A severance payment made in return is therefore generally tax privileged. The Lower (regional) Tax Court of Hesse decided that this also applies in the event of an additional payment because of the (premature) termination of the employment relationship prior to the date as originally set in the termination agreement. Continue reading

Cum-ex trading is tax evasion

In its decision of today, the Federal Court of Justice held that claiming a refund or credit of withholding tax in the wake of cum-ex schemes is a criminal act of tax evasion. The proceeds obtained in these illegal transactions and the benefits derived therefrom may be collected. Continue reading

“Rental” of virtual land during online game subject to VAT?

Transactions made in exchange for redeemable play money as part of an online game in virtual space are subject to VAT. This was decided by the Cologne Fiscal Court in August 2019. The final decision of the Supreme Tax Court is expected soon due to the fact that the case has now been pending since January 2020. Continue reading

Proof of payment of foreign wage taxes by employer’s certificate sufficient

An employer’s certificate is sufficient for the proof of taxation of wages in India in order to claim tax exemption under the relevant terms of the Double Tax Treaty between Germany and India. The submission of an official income tax assessment notice is not mandatory for claiming the exemption under the subject-to-tax clause of the German Income Tax Act. Continue reading