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Public finance & taxes

Taxes in brief

Taxes and income

One of the public sector’s most profitable sources of income is income tax, which is collected annually. Since 2001 the Federal Statistical Office has annually processed wage and income tax data produced under the automated taxation procedure.
In addition, every three years (2001, 2004, 2007, 2010) the statistical offices of the Länder compile detailed wage and income tax statistics. For that purpose, they statistically evaluate wage tax cards and electronic certificates of wage tax deduction in addition to income tax assessments. In contrast to the annual statistics, the triennial statistics provide detailed regional results and reliable data on freelancers. Triennial wage and income tax statistics are also used for fiscal policy purposes (wage tax analysis and distribution of the municipal income tax share).

Annual income tax statistics allow annual data to be linked to a panel on the basis of time, making new evaluations possible, for example, the analysis of adjustment reactions to changes in tax legislation.

Tax revenue

The statistics of cash tax revenue show the tax revenue by type of tax and the taxes received by the territorial authorities after tax redistribution. Monitoring the tax revenue provides important information for budgetary planning and tax revenue estimates as well as for evaluating the fiscal effects of tax law amendments.

The comparison of non-personal taxes covers the municipal tax revenue. The purpose of the survey is to calculate fiscal capacity ratios on a standardised basis across the country, which are important indicators of the economic and financial situation of municipalities. This is not only of general interest to statisticians. The federal and Land legislators also take the fiscal capacity as a basis for financial regulations to achieve equalisation of revenue between the Länder or the municipalities.

Turnover tax

The turnover tax data are shown in two separate sets of statistics. The turnover tax statistics (advance returns) shows the taxpayers obliged to submit an advance turnover tax return. The turnover tax statistics (assessments) covers all enterprises obliged to submit a turnover tax return every year. However, due to the long submission deadlines, those data become available much later than the data of the advance returns.
Both sets of statistics cover not only tax variables resulting from the tax proceedings (such as non-taxable and taxable deliveries and other performances (turnovers), intra-Community acquisitions, deductible input tax and turnover tax) but also a variety of classifying variables. They include the economic branch to which the enterprise’s main activity belongs, and the legal form. Those data allow classifying the enterprises and performing detailed evaluations.

Business tax

The taxation of businesses is mainly based on the businesses' legal form. Corporation tax is a special type of income tax for legal persons such as corporations.
Groups of natural and/or legal persons themselves, e.g. companies or associations, are not liable to pay tax. Therefore, the income generated by a company or association is first of all established using the Declaration on separate and uniform determination and then split between all parties involved in proportion to their shares. The profit shares of the individual parties involved are then subject to income or corporation tax.

Businesses with fixed premises and itinerant businesses operating in Germany are liable to pay trade tax. A business is defined as any independent, lasting activity that is undertaken for profit and by way of participation in general economic transactions. While corporations are always liable to pay trade tax, there are numerous exceptions concerning, for example, agricultural and forestry profits or profits from professional activities.

Excise Duties

Excise duties are levied on selected goods entering the economic system in Germany to be consumed or used. Major goods subject to excise duties are: alcopops, beer, spirits, energy products (for instance heating oil, natural gas, motor fuels, electricity), coffee, sparkling wine, tobacco and intermediate products. No excise duty is levied on wine in Germany as the tax rate is "zero". These excise duties are federal taxes, with the exception that beer duty returns go to the Länder. There also are local excise duties, as they are called, which are not levied in all of Germany and whose returns are for the municipalities.

Other Taxes

Inheritance and gift tax
Inheritance and gift tax is levied on transfers by reason of death, gifts between living persons, donations for specific purposes, and assets of foundations (taxable actions). On account of the tax-free allowances, it can be assumed that a great majority of taxable actions do not result in tax being assessed and are therefore not included in the statistics.

Aviation tax
The aviation tax statistics record the number of domestic and foreign airlines, the number of air passengers carried on the basis of taxable legal transactions, broken down by tax rate/distance and month, and the number of air passengers carried on the basis of tax-exempt legal transactions, broken down by distance, month and the exemption from tax.

Go to other taxes

Tables

Inheritance
and gift tax

Tables

Inheritance and gift tax

Detailed information and tables are offered for free download from our publications (only in German). For data set descriptions for scientific research please refer to the information of the research data centre.

Trade tax

Tables

Detailed information and tables are offered by our publications (only in German) as free download. You will find data record descriptions for scientific research on the website of the research data centre.

Corporation tax

Tables

Detailed information and tables are offered for free download from our publications (only in German). For data set descriptions for scientific research please refer to the information of the research data centre.

Taxes and
income

Tables

Detailed information and tables of annual (only in German) and triennal (only in German) wage and income tax statistics are offered by our publication service as free downloads. You will find data record descriptions for scientific investigations on the website of the research data centre (only in German). A 1% sample survey (campus file, only in German) with anonymised basic data of income tax statistics is available for download free of charge.

Real property tax
and trade tax

Tax budgets

Tables

Tax budgets

Detailed information and tables are offered for free download from our publications (only in German).

Partnerships

Tables

Detailed information and tables are offered for free download from our publicationservice (only in German).

Additional Information

Key figures

Public finance in billion Euro
Expenditure20161,326.1
Revenue20161,351.9
Financial balance201625.8
DebtQ II/ 20171,977.8
Tax revenueQ I/ 2017181.5
Joint taxesQ I/ 2017134.5
Federal taxesQ I/ 201723.4
Land and municipal taxesQ I/ 201722.4

Press

Piktogramm Presse

For current press releases on the theme of public finance and taxes please go to our press pages.

© Statistisches Bundesamt (Destatis), 2017

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