Pay trade tax

If you operate a commercial business in Germany, you are subject to trade tax and may have to pay trade tax.

Are you an individual and achieve a commercial income of more than EUR 24,500 with your domestic business? Then you are above the allowance and must submit an electronic trade tax return to your tax office. In it, you explain how high your business income was during the survey period i.e. in the past calendar year.

In addition, you declare further additions or reductions based on your profit or loss income minus expenses.

In addition, you indicate in which municipality you operate your business. You will then receive a notification from the tax office about the so-called trade tax measurement amount.

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. You will then receive a notification of the trade tax to be paid by you or the trade tax to be refunded to you 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.

  • Trade tax return (GewSt 1 A)

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

Online services available: Yes


  • You run a commercial business and are not a freelancer or a farmer and forester.
  • You are not exempt from trade tax.


There are no hints or special features.

Related Links

  • §§ 7 to 9 Trade Tax Act (GewStG)
  • § 11 Trade Tax Act (GewStG)
  • § 16 Trade Tax Act (GewStG)
  • § 25 Trade Tax Implementing Ordinance (GewStDV)

If you operate a commercial business and are subject to trade tax, you must submit the trade tax return electronically. Among other things, you can create and submit the trade tax return free of charge via the ELSTER online portal of the tax administration:

  • 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 "Trade tax return".
  • Select the calendar year in question.
  • In the following step, select the transfer of previous data or continue without data transfer.
  • Enter your details on the following pages. "Mein ELSTER" guides you through the entire process.
  • At the end of the procedure, "Mein ELSTER" checks your details and provisionally calculates the trade tax due.
  • Send your electronic trade tax return to the responsible tax office.
  • After checking your declaration, you will receive a notification by post about the determination of the trade tax assessment amount from your tax office.
  • You will then receive a notice of the determination of the trade tax from your municipality and, under certain circumstances, a notice of the advance payments to be paid for trade tax.

Responsible for the content
Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF)

Last update or date of publication