Prostitution, dogs and loneliness: A demeanour during Germany’s weirdest taxes

5 min read

The turn of taxation in Germany is a common lamentation among locals and foreigners alike. This is not usually for a volume of taxation – that is among a top in Europe – though also for a peculiar taxation categories that are not common elsewhere. 

At a finish of February, The Local told readers about a German family who had their extraction pug confiscated after they unsuccessful to compensate a mandated dog tax. It got us meditative about some of a uncanny and surprising taxes singular to a Bundesrepublik. 

From fatiguing man’s best crony to a former reduction on bribes paid to supervision officials, here are some of Germany’s strangest Steuern

SEE ALSO: These are a 8 German taxation breaks we need to know about

Dog tax 

Dogs in Germany are theme to a Hundesteuer or ‘dog tax’, an annual price that differs from state to state and is customarily collected from dog owners. 

Although many jurisdictions have gotten absolved of their dog taxes decades ago, Germany has stubbornly refused to do so. 

There are a series of justifications for a dog tax, from gripping dog numbers low to profitable for cleaning adult their waste. The dog taxation brings in copiousness of income for a supervision – it brought in €11 million in Berlin alone final year. 

The usually approach to get around a dog taxation is to adopt a rescue dog, where we won’t be probable for a taxation for a initial year.

There are also suggestions that smaller dogs can be personal as rodents and therefore be taxation exempt, nonetheless we’d advise opposite revelation a taxman we were holding your tax-exempt rodent for a travel until we have serve confirmation. 


In Germany, dogs have to compensate their possess approach when it comes to taxes. Image: DPA. 

Church tax

One of a biggest surprises for expats vital in Germany isn’t usually that there is a church taxation though that they’re already profitable it. 

Paying church taxation is a default option, with all intensity taxpayers carrying to ‘opt out’ of profitable it when completing their Anmeldung (address registration) or their taxation declaration. 

If we destroy to notice a ‘KS’ (Kirchensteuer) on your taxation advice, we might be probable for hundreds of euros per year. 

If you’re already profitable it, you’ll need to go along to your internal Standesamt or Amtsgericht and opt out in person. But be warned, doing so in eremite areas – quite in Bavaria – is expected to get we a few unwashed looks. 

SEE ALSO: Crossed wires: because church taxation is causing additional highlight for expat taxation payers

Bribery exception

While it’s no longer on a books, bribes were taxation deductible underneath certain resources in Germany adult until 1999.

Although a grant was frequency used, a chairman who paid a cheat and sought to have it deducted would be means to do so if they explained a purpose of a cheat and give a names of all a people involved.

Deductions were not authorised if a “briber or a target had been theme to rapist penalties”. 

The exemption was finished in 1999, while some forms of temptation remained authorised until 2002. 

Renewable appetite tax

Germany leads a universe in renewable appetite production, so most so that it frequently sells a purify appetite to a neighbours. 

Although this indispensable a substantial volume of investment, a roll-out of a renewable appetite infrastructure came about by a multiple of surcharges and taxes that placed partial of a cost on a consumer. 

With Germans generally peaceful to compensate a tiny some-more on their electricity check if a income is being invested into immature energy, a devise has been a success.

The surcharge alone raised €26.6 billion final year, with new corporate and income taxes due in a destiny to serve boost investment in purify energy. 

Commuter taxation deduction

Almost all work-related losses can be deducted in Germany, and while a common suspects like uniforms and training materials can be deducted, there are also a few other uncanny categories of deduction. 

One is a commuter allowance, that lets we explain €0.30 per any kilometre between we and work. No matter either we drive, car-share or take open transport, we can explain adult to €4,500 a year – though be certain to keep your receipts. 

Single tax

One serve set of deductions accessible to German taxpayers relates to children, privately for carrying kids. The taxation is justified as compulsory to inspire an boost in a German birth rate and to equivalent some of a costs of carrying children. 

In 2018 however a German Health Minister Jens Spahn attempted to take things a step further, arguing that singular people should be “willing to minister some-more financially to a sustainability of a system” in sequence to make it “fair for all generations”. 

The ‘loneliness tax’ idea was rebuffed by Spahn’s domestic opponents, nonetheless with taxation stipulation deteriorate starting usually after Valentines Day, it’s protected to contend that a devise might have put a few waste noses out of corner should it have gained broader support. 

Decades ago singular group in Germany were compulsory to compensate a supposed Bachelor Tax, nonetheless this was after abolished. 

Prostitution tax

Prostitution is authorised in Germany, with all sex workers compulsory to have a claim taxation ID numbers and to compensate taxation on their gain most like any other employee. While collecting these in a context of a brothel might be easier, there are problems in sufficient monitoring a gain activities of streetwalkers. 

Officials in Bonn have sought to solve a problem by fixation a scale in a red light district, requiring that prostitutes compensate €6 each dusk for a right to manipulate their trade on a street. 

An picture of a scale in Bonn that collects a nightly harlotry tax. Image: DPA

Most prostitutes work as freelancers or tiny business owners and will need to compensate taxation on their income, a city says a scale is an additional turn of confidence to safeguard that a prostitutes are contributing. Similar taxes have also been introduced in Dortmund, that a city expects will lift €750,000 per year. 

Germany’s on-going sex work process has also been extended to embody a stipend for infirm people to assistance them compensate for sex, with additional training supposing to prostitutes on how to work in a area. 


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