Apply for an exemption certificate for tax-privileged foreign investors in investment funds Unfortunately this specification of service has not yet been completely translated.

Tax-privileged foreign investors in investment funds may, under certain conditions, apply for an exemption certificate for full or partial tax exemption of the investment fund.

Since 1.1.2018, investment funds have been subject to tax with their

  • domestic investment income,
  • domestic real estate income and
  • other domestic income

to corporate income tax.
With the exemption certificate, investment funds can prove the tax status of their tax-privileged foreign investors so that the investment fund is partially or fully tax-exempt.
Foreign investors can apply for the exemption certificate at the Federal Central Tax Office (BZSt). Investors must then submit the original of this exemption certificate to their investment fund.
If no exemption certificate is applied for or submitted to the investment fund, the investment fund's income is subject to corporate income tax if it is not exempt from taxation.

When applying for the exemption certificate, you must submit:

  • Excerpt from the commercial register or comparable proof of registration in the state of origin.
  • Proof of recognition of charitable, benevolent, or ecclesiastical purposes in the country of origin
  • Articles of association, foundation law or other constitution
  • Activity report
  • Statement of income and expenditure
  • Cash report
  • Balance sheet with evidence of the formation and development of reserves
  • Records on the receipt of donations and their use for the intended purpose
  • Minutes of the board of directors, if applicable
  • Forms: yes
  • Online procedure possible: no
  • Written form required: yes (signed application)
  • Personal appearance: no

Related Links

  • Formular im Formular-Management-System (FMS) der Bundesfinanzverwaltung (BFINV)


The application for the issue of an exemption certificate may be submitted by:

  • Tax-privileged foreign investors who hold shares in investment funds domiciled and managed in the following countries:
    • Belgium
    • Bulgaria
    • Denmark
    • Estonia
    • Finland
    • France
    • Greece
    • Ireland
    • Italy
    • Croatia
    • Latvia
    • Lithuania
    • Luxembourg
    • Malta
    • Netherlands
    • Austria
    • Poland
    • Portugal
    • Romania
    • Sweden
    • Slovakia
    • Slovenia
    • Spain
    • Czech Republic
    • Hungary
    • United Kingdom
    • Cyprus
    • Australia
    • Liechtenstein
    • Canada

Further requirements:

  • the foreign investors must be resident in a state providing administrative and debt collection assistance


  • be comparable to German tax-exempt investors.
  • Comparable foreign investors if they have a
    • Corporation
    • Association of persons


  • Vermögensmasse


  • which, according to the articles of association
  • the foundation transaction


  • the other constitution and according to the actual business management exclusively and directly
    • charitable
    • charitable


  • ecclesiastical purposes


and the foreign investor

  • promotes the tax-privileged purposes of natural persons in Germany


  • contributes to the reputation of the Federal Republic of Germany abroad

Related Links

  • § 9 Investmentsteuergesetz (InvStG)
  • §§ 51 bis 68 Abgabenordnung (AO)

Related Links

  • Weitere Informationen zur Befreiungsbescheinigung auf der Internetseite des Bundeszentralamts für Steuern (BZSt)
  • Anleitung zum Antrag auf Ausstellung einer Befreiungsbescheinigung nach § 9 Investmentsteuergesetz (InvStG) auf der Internetseite der Bundesfinanzverwaltung (BFIN)
  • Hinweise zum Formular-Management-System (FMS) auf der Internetseite der Bundesfinanzverwaltung (BFIN)

You must submit the application for the exemption certificate in writing to the Federal Central Tax Office (BZSt).

  • Download the form from the online form management system (FMS) of the Federal Tax Administration (BFINV) and complete it.
  • Print out the completed application form. The application form must then be received by
    • a legal representative of the investor


  • his authorised representative

sign the form.

  • Send the signed form together with the other required documents by post to the office of the Federal Central Tax Office (BZSt) in Bonn.
  • The BZSt will check your application. You may have to answer further questions or submit additional documents.
  • If the BZSt approves your application, it will send you the issued exemption certificate by post.
  • Forward the original (not a copy) of your exemption certificate to the investment fund by mail.
  • The mutual fund will claim your tax benefit from the tax authorities.

Postal delivery of the exemption certificate abroad is only possible if this is permitted under international law. In the case of some states, the BZSt is not permitted under international law to deliver the status certificates by post (a current list of these states can be found on the BZSt website under "Questions and Answers"). In these cases, it is mandatory to indicate a domestic (German) receiving agent.

Responsible for the content
Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF)

Last update or date of publication