Pay trade tax

If you operate a commercial company in Germany, you are generally subject to trade tax.

Do you run a company (business) in Germany and achieve a business income of more than EUR 24,500 per year?
Then you are obliged to submit a trade tax return to your tax office. In it, you explain how high your business income was in the past calendar year (survey period). You submit a trade tax return for each collection period in which you have operated your business (annually). You must submit the declaration electronically, for example via www. Elster.de. You declare further additions or reductions based on your profit or loss (simplified: income minus expenses).
In addition, you indicate in which municipality you operate your business.

The tax office determines the trade tax measurement amount and announces it by notice.
The tax office determines the trade tax amount by multiplying the business income by the tax figure of 3.5 percent. This measurement amount is the basis for the amount of trade tax.

The tax office informs the municipality in which you operate your business about the trade tax measurement amount.

The municipality will send you a notice of the trade tax to be paid by you or reimbursed by the municipality.
The municipality calculates the trade tax from the trade tax measurement amount of the tax office multiplied by the trade tax levy rate of the municipality. Each municipality determines its own levy rate.

With the notification of the trade tax, the municipality also decides on the advance payments of the trade tax to be paid by you in the future for the subsequent collection period.

You pay the amounts stated in the notice of trade tax and/or advance payments for trade tax to the municipality on the date specified therein.

Trade tax return, transmitted electronically

- Form: Electronically transmitted trade tax return GewSt 1A
- Online procedure: www.Elster.de
- Written form required: no
- Personal appearance required: no


Preconditions

You run a commercial business (not for freelancers and farmers and foresters) and are not exempt from trade tax.

Hints

Levy rates of the municipalities can be found in summary form on the website of the Federal Statistical Office
https://www.destatis.de/DE/Themen/Staat/Steuern/Steuereinnahmen/_inhalt.html#sprg236424
or on the website of the municipality in which you operate your business.


- Form trade tax return GewSt 1A on the website ELSTER
https://www.elster.de/eportal/formulare-leistungen/alleformulare/gewst

Trade Tax Act (GewStG)
https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/gewstg/
Trade Tax Implementing Ordinance (GewStDV)
https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/gewstdv_1955/index.html


- Trade tax return, obligation to electronically transmit § 14a GewStG and § 25 GewStDV
- Income from commercial enterprise or commercial income § 7 GewStG
- Additions § 8 GewStG
- Reductions § 9 GewStG


- Trade tax exemptions § 3 GewStG
- Trade tax measurement amount § 11 GewStG

- Trade tax measurement amount § 14 GewStG
- Trade tax, levy rate § 16 GewStG

If you operate a commercial enterprise and are subject to trade tax, the following must be done:
- You submit your trade tax return electronically.
- You will receive a notification of the determination of the trade tax assessment amount from your tax office.
- You will then receive a notification of the determination of the trade tax from the municipality.
- Finally, you pay (if applicable) trade tax to the municipality.



Responsible for the content
Lower Saxony State Tax Office

Last update or date of publication
19.07.2021