Personal Income Tax in Germany

Personal income tax is imposed on the income of individuals, who are resident in Germany or have their normal place of abode there, have full income tax liability. All the income earned at home and abroad is subject to German tax. A foreign resident, who is employed in Germany, pays tax only on income earned in Germany. Subject to income tax are:
• income from agriculture and forestry
• income from business operations
• income from self-employed work
• income from employed work
• capital yields
• income from letting property
• other income
The personal income tax from income from employed work and from capital income paid the employers or the banks, when the earnings are paid out (the tax is immediately transferred to the tax authorities every month). Germany is a signatory to a Treaty for the Prevention of Double Taxation with many countries all over the world (with almost 90 countries). These agreements under public international law aim to avoid one and the same taxpayer being charged similar taxes more than once on the same income for the same period.

Tax due date
The tax declaration must be provided until 31 May of the year following the emergence of the tax.

Tax exempt income
From personal income tax are in Germany exempt these incomes, for instance: annual income of up to 7 664 EUR for a resident, 50 % of the total dividend received from a company, receipts from accident and health insurance, contributions by the employer to state pension plans…

Tax rate
In Germany is personal income tax progressively. In 2008 is tax rate from 0 % to 45 % (in 2007 was tax rate from 0 % to 42 %). The so-called solidarity surcharge at a rate of 5.5 % of income tax has to be paid on top of this. Tax base is different for single and married. Married couples may choose to be assessed either jointly or separately. No income tax is charged on the basic allowance, which is EUR 7 664 for unmarried persons and EUR 15 329 for jointly assessed married couples.

Tax Base (in EUR)
Tax Base (in EUR)
0 %
up to 7 664
0 %
up to 15 329
15 %
7 665- 52 153
15 %
15 330 - 104 304
42 %
52 154 - 250 000
42 %
104 305 - 500 000
45 %
250 001 and over
45 %
500 001 and over

Tax deductions
The personal tax can be in German deducted. All forms of tax relief refer to the income of an individual. This applies in particular to costs immediately related to earnings. For instance:
• donations – allowable up to 5 % of gross income
• child allowance – annual sum of 1 824 EUR for a child (for a child under 14 years 1 000 EUR)
• alimony – up to 13 805 EUR per year
• church tax – fully deductible
• travel expenses to work and from work – up to 4 500 EUR per year
• allowance for capital earnings – 801 EUR for unmarried and 1 601 EUR for married couples
• profits on sales are neglected up to 512 EUR

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