German update

13.06.2019
Tax incentives for electromobility

Electromobility is considered to be one of the key elements for sustainable and climate-friendly transport based on renewable energies. On 8.5.2019, the Federal Ministry of Finance (Bundesministerium der Finanzen, BMF) published a draft bill for the proposed “Act to promote further tax incentives for electromobility and to amend other tax regulations”. A short overview of the main contents of the draft bill is set out below. In this connection, there is also a discussion of the provision of (electric) bikes by employers that has been newly regulated with the identical decrees of the highest tax authorities of the federal states (Länder), from 13.3.2019.

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12.06.2019
Consolidated VAT groups with a partnership as a subsidiary company as of 1.1.2019

Between 2015 and 2017, the European Court of Justice and the Federal Fiscal Court subjected to a judicial review several VAT regulations in relation to consolidated VAT groups. The Federal Ministry of Finance (Bundesministerium der Finanzen, BMF), in its circular from 26.5.2017, responded to the amendments in case law concerning the establishment of a consolidated VAT group and has applied this bindingly since 1.1.2019.

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11.06.2019
An end to the fairness rule for legacy profit transfer agreements

According to a new Federal Ministry of Finance (Bundesministerium der Finanzen, BMF) circular, from 3.4.2019, profit transfer agreements that have hitherto included no reference to the application of Section 302(4) of the Stock Corporation Act (Aktiengesetz, AktG) (statute of limitations clause) will no longer be protected by the BMF’s fairness rule in its circular from 16.12.2005. The profit transfer agreement in legacy contracts without such a reference will have to be amended by including a dynamic reference to Section 302 AktG and this will have to be entered in the commercial register by 31.12.2019.

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10.06.2019
Update on tax relief for income from business activities

The provision under Section 35 of the Income Tax Act (Einkommenssteuergesetz, EStG) makes it possible to partially offset trade tax credits against income tax in order to reduce the double burden of taxation of commercial income with respect to income tax and trade tax. Nevertheless, there are restrictions on the tax credits that can be offset that should be taken into account.

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07.06.2019
The description of items supplied that is shown on invoices for goods in the low-price segment

The question as to whether for input tax deductions from invoices in the low-price segment it is necessary to provide information on the type of items that were supplied using the usual commercial descriptions, or whether it is sufficient to state the category of goods, was recently a focus for The Federal Fiscal Court (Bundesfinanzhof, BFH). The Munich-based judges, in their decision from 14.3.2019 (case reference: V B 3/19), expressed serious doubts about whether or not it was possible to request more than the category of the goods.

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