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Tax & Legal

Tax & Legal

Statutory interest rate unconstitutional: Ministerial circular with guidelines for transitional period


The Federal Finance Ministry has issued a circular on the implementation of the decision of the Federal Constitutional Court of July 8, 2021 regarding the inappropriate statutory interest rate on late payment and refund taxes. The ministerial notice will have to be applied for the transitional period until retroactive new provisions on the interest rate pursuant to sections 233a, 238 (1) sentence 1 of the German Fiscal Code (AO) for interest periods starting on or after January 1, 2019 are in place. Continue reading

Statutory interest rate levied on late payment or refund of taxes unconstitutional


In a decision on two joint cases published today the Constitutional Court decided that interest incurred on late payment of taxes (back taxes) and the interest paid for tax refunds pursuant to Sections 233a and 238(1) sentence 1 of the German Fiscal Code is not in line with the German Constitution insofar as the interest rate is set at 0.5% per month and for interest periods from 1 January 2014. Continue reading

Statutory interest rate levied on late payment of taxes no longer up-to-date?


The Supreme Tax Court has serious doubts as to the appropriateness of the current fixed rate of interest on late payments which is levied at a rate of 6 per cent per annum. This is especially relevant when considering the generally low interest rates level which have been charged in the market for some considerable time. Continue reading