Submit a corporate tax return

Corporations have to pay corporation tax on their taxable income, non-profit organizations receive their tax exemption.

Corporation tax is levied by the tax authorities on the income of legal entities or corporations, such as:

  • Joint-stock companies (AG)
  • Limited Liability Companies (GmbH)
  • Cooperatives or
  • Foundations.

In principle, corporation tax arises at the end of a calendar year. The basis for the determination is their corporate tax return. You must submit these and the annual profit determinations electronically to the tax authorities. The free service portal "Mein ELSTER" is available for this purpose.

The amount of corporation tax is 15 percent on the taxable income of a calendar year. In addition, there is a 5.5 percent solidarity surcharge. The income from corporation tax flows jointly to the Federal Government and the Länder. The confederation is entitled to the solidarity surcharge.

Whether you as a managing person or board member of a corporation are obliged to submit a corporation tax return or exceptions apply, your tax advisor can inform you.

This person may also inform them of the expected amount of the tax burden. As a non-profit association, for example, you only have to pay corporation tax on income from the economic business operations if the income is over EUR 45,000.

  • Electronically transmitted corporate tax return with required attachments
  • Documents for determining profits, such as
  • Balance
  • Income statement
  • if necessary, further declarations such as a turnover or trade tax return

Forms available: No
Written form required: No
Informal application possible: No
Personal appearance necessary: No
Online services available: Yes


  • Corporations, associations of persons and assets are subject to unlimited corporation tax if the management or the registered office is located in Germany. These are, for example:
    • Capital companies
      • Stock corporations
      • Limited liability companies
      • Entrepreneurial companies
    • Cooperatives
    • Clubs
    • Foundations
    • associations, institutions, foundations and other special purpose assets under private law with no legal capacity, and
    • Businesses of a commercial nature of legal entities under public law, such as commercial enterprises of the municipalities
  • all income is taxable
  • Management is the place where the relevant corporate decisions are made
  • the registered office of the company is determined by the shareholders in the articles of association
  • foreign companies only have to pay corporation tax on their domestic income


There are no hints or special features.

Related Links

  • §§ 149 to 150 Tax Code (AO)
  • §155 Tax Code (AO)
  • 157 Tax Code (AO)
  • 224 Tax Code (AO)
  • 347 Tax Code (AO)
  • §§ 1 to 2 Corporate Income Tax Act (KStG)
  • §§ 7 to 8 Corporate Income Tax Act (KStG)
  • §§ 30 to 31 Corporation Tax Act (KStG)
  • § 25 Income Tax Act (EStG)
  • § 36 Income Tax Act (EStG)

You must submit the corporation tax return and associated documents and attachments electronically to the responsible tax office:

  • Visit "My ELSTER - Your Online Tax Office" on the Internet.
  • Log in with your access data and your personal security procedure.
  • Select the menu item "Corporate Income Tax" and let the program guide you through the procedure.
  • After entering all data, you can submit the corporate tax return electronically to the responsible tax office via "My ELSTER".
  • After checking your corporate tax return, you will receive a notification of
    • the fixed amount of corporation tax, and
    • a request for payment (bank transfer or SEPA direct debit) or information about a credit withdrawal.

Responsible for the content
Lower Saxony State Tax Office

Last update or date of publication