Business tax

The trade tax is a municipal tax that is levied on the business and its objective profitability.

The trade tax is a municipal tax (also called real or object tax) and is linked solely to the taxable object, without taking into account the personal circumstances of the tax debtor (e.g. his ability to pay). The subject of the trade tax is the business enterprise and its objective profitability. The debtor of the trade tax is the entrepreneur. An entrepreneur is the person on whose behalf the business is operated.

Profits from the exercise of a commercial activity of sole proprietorships, partnerships or corporations are subject to trade tax.

Trade tax returns must be submitted to the tax office. On the basis of the profit determined in accordance with the provisions of the Income Tax or the Corporation Tax Act, increased and reduced by certain amounts, which in particular take into account the object tax character of the trade tax and, for example, are intended to avoid a double burden of trade and property tax, the tax office determines the trade tax measurement amount (tax figure from 2008 always 3.5 percent), which is announced to the taxpayer by notice. This trade tax assessment notice is the basic notice for the determination of trade tax and trade tax advance payments by the cities and municipalities.

The trade tax is calculated by multiplying the trade tax measurement amount by the levy rate to be determined by the municipality entitled to levy.

The trade tax return must be submitted electronically.

The necessary control software is available from many commercial providers. The trade tax return can also be created and transmitted free of charge via the online portal of the tax administration (ELSTER).

Related Links

  • Further information on trade tax

Related Links

  • Trade Tax Act (GewStG)
  • Trade Tax Implementing Ordinance (GewStDV)

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