• 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

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)

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
Germany's first Iraq arms delivery is ready
The weapons are ready to be sent. Photo: Bundeswehr/Pulpanek

Germany's first Iraq arms delivery is ready

Germany’s military said on Thursday it was ready to send its first shipment of arms to Kurds fighting Islamic extremists Isis in northern Iraq. READ  

Police find dead baby in train station locker
The lockers at Hamburg central station. Photo: DPA

Police find dead baby in train station locker

Police in Hamburg found the body of a baby hidden in a train station locker on Thursday morning. The woman believed to be its mother is in psychiatric care. READ  

German of the Week
Munich's mayor practices for Oktoberfest
Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter. Photo: DPA

Munich's mayor practices for Oktoberfest

Dieter Reiter has been in office for less than five months and will this week take on one of the Munich mayor's most important duties - tapping the first keg at Oktoberfest. He is only the city's second mayor in the last 21 years. READ  

Europeans descended from three tribes
The skull of a farmer from Stuttgart examined for the study. Photo: Joanna Drath, University of Tübingen

Europeans descended from three tribes

German researchers have traced the origins of modern Europeans to a migratory melting pot of three ancient tribes dating back 8,000 years. READ  

Germans return 'stolen' parts of Great Pyramid
The pyramids at Giza. Photo: DPA

Germans return 'stolen' parts of Great Pyramid

Fragments of the Great Pyramid of Giza, which were allegedly stolen by German archaeologists last year, have been returned to Egypt from Germany. But the case against those who allegedly took the samples is continuing. READ  

Oktoberfest 2014
Your guide to Munich Oktoberfest's tents
Photo: DPA

Your guide to Munich Oktoberfest's tents

There are 14 "tents" at Munich's Oktoberfest, all with their own uniqueness and theme. In the second of The Local's four-part guide to the world's biggest beer festival, we look at some of the best ones. READ  

Drunk teachers ruin school trip to Hamburg
Photo: DPA

Drunk teachers ruin school trip to Hamburg

A school trip was cancelled after just one day when two teachers got so drunk while they were supposed to be looking after pupils in Hamburg that police had to be called. READ  

Where to find the speed cameras today
Photo: DPA

Where to find the speed cameras today

Police deployed 13,000 officers across Germany on Thursday to catch speeding drivers in a so called "Blitzmarathon". Here is where the radar guns are. READ  

US WWII bomb forces 11,000 from homes
The area of the town centre evacuated. Photo: Lüneberg Stadt

US WWII bomb forces 11,000 from homes

Thousands of people in the centre of an historic town in central Germany had to leave their homes late on Wednesday evening after a 250kg bomb was found. READ  

Who is listening to Berlin's music?
Photo: DPA

Who is listening to Berlin's music?

A study by music-streaming service Spotify has revealed the global reach of Berlin-born music, with genres originating in the capital finding a loyal audience in some unlikely places. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Marks & Spencer
Sponsored Article
Fashion Ladies of the Local: Win a New Autumn Look
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Oktoberfest 2014: The best and worst in dirndl fashion
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten German words you'll never want to hear again
Photo: DPA
Education
German universities tumble in global rankings
Photo: DPA
Tech
Netflix launches in Germany (in English too)
Photo: DPA
Politics
These men want to be the next mayor of Berlin
Photo: Shutterstock
Business & Money
The three types of firms hiring foreigners
Photo: DPA/ESA
Tech
VIDEO: How one German astronaut sees Earth
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Frisky couple shock Berlin commuters
Photo: Bayernpartei/DPA
Politics
Why some Bavarians want a Scottish 'Yes'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
12 things to do in Berlin for less than a latte
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

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

3,363
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd