• Germany edition
 
Truckers 'should keep a tax toilet log book'
Photo: DPA

Truckers 'should keep a tax toilet log book'

Published: 25 Dec 2012 12:05 GMT+01:00
Updated: 25 Dec 2012 12:05 GMT+01:00

Germany's 1.5 million truck drivers should start to keep a 'log book' for the tax office of how often and for how long they go to the toilet, it was reported recently.

The top tax authority has recommended that truck drivers note down the duration and frequency of their ablutions in order to work out how much of their income should be written off from tax the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper said at the weekend.

Up until now, drivers had been allocated a €5 daily tax-free expenses allowance and even in March, the federal financial court agreed that this was an acceptable amount.

But tax authorities have decided this was not accurate enough and said that drivers must now keep receipts from overnight stays in car parks and comfort breaks at motorway rest stops.

Income tax experts voiced annoyance at the decision, with Uwe Rauhöft from the NVL – an umbrella group that represents income tax advisors – calling the note-system “a ridiculous, costly process.”

As parking spots tend to be in short supply along Germany's motorways, truckers often park up in privately-run areas that charge around €10 to €15 per night – and generally includes a meal, the paper said. But because there is no tax consideration for this, tax offices often failed to acknowledge them as expenses.

Truck companies also would not pay these costs back, so costs often fell on the driver.

Tax expert Rauhöft suggested that for the system to work, drivers should file what part of a private-company charge was not used on food. But this would mean drivers keeping a "schnitzel book" alongside their toilet log.

The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

13:27 December 25, 2012 by The-ex-pat
€5 tax free as day to go to the toilet.......................someone is taking the p*ss...............
15:35 December 25, 2012 by Englishted
"Log book" brilliant well done the writer .
15:45 December 25, 2012 by catjones
german confusion.....precision is not perfection.
19:15 December 25, 2012 by FogFimFoo
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
05:38 December 26, 2012 by HHayrider
Actually, here in the US, truck drivers have a "Record of daily hours" which is called a log book. It has a graph chart in it and you fill in the times, in 4 catagories, if you are driving, working-not driving, off duty and sleeping. You have so many hours a week to work. Anyways...

Sometimes, drivers have to pay to park in truckstops in populated areas where parking is a premium. These costs are not reimbursed by the company. Only costs on behalf of the company are reimbursed with reciept, like weigh tickets, toll roads, repairs, etc. However, with the tax system, any un-reimbursed business expense can be written off by the employee, like truck washes, parking, meals, etc.

Its nice to know that parking shortages arent only happening in the US.
15:30 December 26, 2012 by StoutViking
The tax ministry should take note at each time it sh*ts on our heads...
19:26 December 26, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
So how do they log this? Write in the book 'taking a pi$§' ?
06:20 December 27, 2012 by HHayrider
Well, the graph chart is a 24 hour period, split up into 15 minute increments. If he stops, runs in and wets a tire, he can just show a "flag" on the driving section. If he is stopped for more than 15 minutes he is required to change the status in the book, and mark it as lunch, or a nap, etc.

Sadly, over here alot of guys wont stop, but rather pee into a soda bottle or some other container, and throw it out on the side of the road, leaving a state road worker to pick it up. Some states, like Washington and Oregon and a few others, have deemed it a crime. Improper disposal of a bio-hazardous substance. If caught, the fines are like $1500.
12:44 December 27, 2012 by goodhund
Who is behind of it, please think once more and let the truckers do their job, where there is too much bureaucracy already :)

Doctors recommend: One man must go to the toilet 1 time per 1 day I think in the morning or night.

Thus, working as a truck-driver is not so easy and pleasant today anymore and going much harder and harder in every day.
13:44 December 28, 2012 by ErnestPayne
If you have to produce a log book of such "activities" you should save the material and give it to the tax office as proof of your "activity". Then it is their problem to dispose of the "evidence"
03:21 December 29, 2012 by itchyvet
Can't see what all the fuss is about. Though the article is a little confusing, the head line claims toilet breaks, but deeper within it becomes obvious they are talking about overnight rest stops.

I always thought Germans were methodical, therefor there shouldn't be a problem keeping a diary of all such stops and costs, especially when it involves money in your pocket.

Clearly, the drivers need to get a grip on themselves and their job.
Today's headlines
Ecclestone lawyers: Bribes never happened
Bernie Ecclestone with his lawyers in a Munich court on Thursday morning. Photo: DPA

Ecclestone lawyers: Bribes never happened

UPDATE: Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone went on trial in Munich on Thursday facing bribery charges which his lawyers called “improper, misleading and inconsistent". READ () »

Minister praises Erasmus 'success story'
Photo: DPA

Minister praises Erasmus 'success story'

A revamped version of European student exchange programme Erasmus officially launched in Berlin on Thursday with Germany's education minister praising the scheme as a Europe-wide “success story”. READ () »

Turkey tourists lose call to prayer refund bid
Photo: DPA

Turkey tourists lose call to prayer refund bid

A German couple has lost their legal fight to get a refund for a Turkish holiday which they said was ruined by the calls to prayer from a nearby mosque. It is just one of a series of court claims by picky German tourists. READ () »

Germany halts arms sales to Russia
Russian troops surround a Ukrainian base in Crimea. Photo: DPA

Germany halts arms sales to Russia

Germany has stopped selling arms to Russia due to the current “political situation”, according to reports on Thursday. The sale of military equipment to Russia by German firms has been criticized by the country’s Nato allies. READ () »

Truck kills man lying in middle of road
Photo: DPA

Truck kills man lying in middle of road

Police were searching for witnesses on Wednesday morning following a mysterious road accident in which a 25-year-old man was killed as he lay in the middle of the road. READ () »

Where are Germany's smartest towns?
Germany's cleverest town. Photo: DPA

Where are Germany's smartest towns?

A brain training website released scores on Wednesday showing which German towns performed best and worst in a range of cognitive tests - with some surprising results. READ () »

April wraps up with stormy week ahead
Lightning over Lake Starnberg, in Bavaria. Photo: DPA

April wraps up with stormy week ahead

The end of April is looking stormy for Germany with hot and cold air mixing and making for wild spring weather over the coming few days, state forecasters DWD said on Wednesday. READ () »

Germany sold €40 million of arms to Russia
Russian troops pictured in March in Crimea. Photo: DPA

Germany sold €40 million of arms to Russia

Germany arms sales to Russia have come under fire following the crisis in Ukraine. In 2012 Germany sold €40 million worth of rifles, pistols and armoured vehicles to the country. READ () »

Munich to get 'Tetris cube' hotel
Photo: Nieto Sobejano Architects, Berlin

Munich to get 'Tetris cube' hotel

Munich's old city centre is to receive an ultra modern addition to its skyline in the shape of a new hotel dubbed 'the Tetris cube'. READ () »

The Local List
German beer culture in 11 gulps
Photo: DPA

German beer culture in 11 gulps

Wednesday marks the 498th anniversary of Germany's celebrated beer purity law, so in honour of nearly half a millennium of hoppy history, this week's Local List tells some beer truths you may not know. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
11 things you need to know about German beer
Photo: DPA
Politics
Interview with AfD - 'If Britain goes, Europe is lost'
Photo: DPA
National
Police damage own water cannon with eggs
Photo: DPA
National
Let us start work later after World Cup nights, unions says
Photo: DPA
Society
Crystal meth use hits record level
Photo: DPA
Rhineland
Elderly man taped €200,000 to his genitals
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
What's the unemployment rate in your area of Germany?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Nine ways to celebrate Easter like a German
Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt
Gallery
World War I in colour photos
Photo: DPA
Society
JobTalk: Why you should teach English in Germany
Photo: DPA
National
330,000 sign up against TV licence fee
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
School kids hospitalized after 'porno' party
Advertisement:
Photo: Submitted
Frankfurt
'I'll get even with my old pal Schwarzenegger'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten great inventions you (probably) didn't know were German
Photo: J. Arthur White
Berlin
Clashes in Berlin as refugees tear down their own camp
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Munich's baby polar bears are finally named
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The 10 best German employers to work for
CurrencyFair
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Mr. Lodge
Sponsored Article
How to find a furnished rental in Munich
Sponsored Article
How to make a lasting impression in business
Hult International Business School
Sponsored Article
What they don't teach you at Business School
Photo: DPA
Society
Nine jobs you can only do in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,069
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd