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Tax & Legal

Brexit at Midnight: Prepared for what comes next?


Midnight tonight the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland will leave the EU. From 1 February, a transitional phase until the end of 2020 will begin, which means that for the time being, the UK will remain within the internal market and the customs union. Is your business prepared for what may come? Some many open questions. The free PwC-Brexit Readiness Assessment Application can help. Continue reading

Deduction of input VAT for a home office: Does the requirement to submit the decision to allocate an asset for private or business use by a certain deadline comply with EU law?


The Supreme Tax Court has doubts as to whether EU law precludes national case law which states that the decision to allocate an asset to private or business use must be submitted to the tax office by the end of the statutory period for submission of the annual VAT return. Accordingly, in a ruling of 18 September 2019 ( XI R 3/19 published on 30 January 2020) it has requested clarification from the European Union Court of Justice (ECJ). Continue reading

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