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IN FOCUS / 2018-02-20

Wage and income tax statistics 2013:
49% of solidarity surcharge are paid by 10% of all payers

The draft coalition agreement between the CDU, CSU and SPD provides for a gradual phasing out of the solidarity surcharge. The surcharge was introduced in 1991 mainly to finance German unification.
Since 1998 the "Soli" (as it is nicknamed in Germany) has been levied at 5.5% of the income tax on all taxpayers whose annual income tax is more than 972 euros (assessed individuals) or more than 1.944 euros (jointly assessed married couples). From 2021, approximately 90% of all payers are to be fully relieved from paying the surcharge.
According to the 2013 wage and income tax statistics, the solidarity surcharge amounted to a total of roughly 12 billion euros. 90% of the just under 31 million surcharge payers accounted for just over half of that total (51%). The remaining 49% came from those taxpayers who paid the highest amounts of surcharge (10%).

An individually assessed surcharge payer had an average (median) taxable income of 25,964 euros in 2013. On average, that payer contributed 218 euros of solidarity surcharge. An average household of a jointly assessed married couple had a taxable income of 52,165 euros and paid 393 euros of solidarity surcharge (median values in each case).

In 2013, the top 10% of contributors were taxpayers who paid a surcharge of 729 euros or over (assessed individuals) or 1.458 euros (jointly assessed couples). These amounts represented annual taxable incomes of more than 51,057 euros or 102,114 euros, respectively.

© Statistisches Bundesamt (Destatis), 2018

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