Church tax on investment income

Withholding church tax on final taxed investment income (e.g. interest from banks):

Church tax on final taxed investment income has been automatically withheld since January 1, 2015 and paid to the tax-collecting religious communities. Automatic means that the members of these religious communities do not have to initiate anything in order to meet their church tax obligations in connection with the final withholding tax. In order to prepare for the automatic deduction of church tax on the withholding tax, those liable to deduct church tax (banks, savings banks, etc.) are legally obliged to ask the Federal Central Tax Office (BZSt) the religious affiliation of all customers once a year. The query is carried out regularly from September 1st to October 31st.

For members of a tax-collecting religious community, the BZSt notifies the church tax deductible about the church tax deduction feature (KiStAM). The KiStAM provides information about membership of a tax-collecting religious community and the valid church tax rate. The church tax withholding agents then determine the church tax applicable to the taxpayer on the final withholding tax and pay this to the tax office.

Objection to the transmission of the KiStAM (blocking note):

  • If a taxpayer does not want the church tax on final taxed capital income to be levied by the church tax deductor but by the responsible tax office, the transfer of the KiStAM can be objected to (blocking note).
  • The blocking notice must be submitted to the BZSt on an officially prescribed form (see links). It is also available in paper form from the information and collection points of the tax offices.
  • The blocking notice must be received by the BZSt by June 30th at the latest. In this case, the BZSt blocks the transmission of the KiStAM for the current and all subsequent query periods until further notice. The church tax deductible will then not pay any church tax.
  • The BZSt is legally obliged to inform the responsible tax office about the blocking notice. The tax office will then ask you to submit an income tax return.
  • As the procedure is handled by the BZSt and not by the tax offices, the BZSt tax information center is available as a central point of contact for further questions. It can be reached by phone on 0228/406 1240.

Further information can be found on the link to the BZSt.

Section 51a paragraphs 2b to 2e of the Income Tax Act

Related Links

  • BZSt - church tax on final withholding tax

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