Taxes - Germany
Taxation depends on the legal structure chosen, the size of the business and whether it practises one of the liberal professions. Various Acts cover taxation:
The main direct taxes for businesses are the following:
- income tax, which has to be paid by business owners;
- corporation tax, which has to be paid by a limited liability company, stock corporation and cooperative association;
- trade tax, which is paid by anyone in business (with the exception of the liberal professions and specific occupational groups such as farmers).
The main indirect tax for businesses is the following:
- value-added tax (formerly turnover tax), which has to be paid by all business owners (except small business holders).
Registration with the tax office
Submitting your tax declaration
Taxes are generally administered by the tax offices. The Federal German Fiscal Authority’s Form Management System (FMS) offers online services and interactive forms for this.
Businesses are obliged to file provisional electronic declarations for payroll tax and VAT. Practical assistance is available from the ‘Elsterformular’, a free piece of software for electronic tax declarations.
The following deadlines apply for paying taxes:
- Value-added tax: by the 10th of the month following a prepayment period (month or quarter)
- Income tax / corporation tax / trade tax: quarterly prepayment; tax declaration after end of calendar year
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Check also the legislation on this topic in: