• 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)

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
JobTalk Germany
Job seekers frustrated applying in Germany
Photo: DPA

Job seekers frustrated applying in Germany

A new YouGov survey shows job seekers in Germany are exasperated with the application process, complaining about poor job adverts and slow responses. Recruiters agree. READ  

Germany's biggest tabloid attacks Islam
Bild editor-in-chief Kai Diekmann said there was no room for such comments in Bild publications but stopped short of an apology. Photo: DPA

Germany's biggest tabloid attacks Islam

Germany's biggest newspaper, Bild, was forced to climb down over the weekend after a highly critical and controversial comment piece which attacked Islam as a barrier to integration appeared in its Sunday sister paper. READ  

Schweinsteiger sorry for holiday video
Schweinsteiger has apologized after the video of him on holiday was posted on YouTube. Photo: DPA

Schweinsteiger sorry for holiday video

Germany’s World Cup winning star Bastian Schweinsteiger has apologized after a video emerged of him on YouTube leading a chant insulting Borussia Dortmund supporters and players. READ  

Weather warning for stormy Berlin
Photo: DPA

Weather warning for stormy Berlin

Forecasters have put out a weather warning for Berlin and much of Brandenburg with thunderstorms and heavy rain set to bring an end to the heatwave. READ  

Fisherman sells oldest message in a bottle
Konrad Fischer with his find. Photo: DPA

Fisherman sells oldest message in a bottle

A message in a bottle tossed into the sea in northern Germany 101 years ago and believed to be the world's oldest is being auctioned on eBay. READ  

Police arrest suspected molester of 175 kids
File photo: DPA

Police arrest suspected molester of 175 kids

UPDATE: A taxi driver, who is accused of sexually abusing 175 children and adolescents, kept a disabled boy in his apartment in Brandenburg for four weeks. READ  

Germany tells citizens to get out of Libya
Fighting has broken out in Libya's capital in recent weeks, including at Tripoli Airport. Photo: EPA/STR

Germany tells citizens to get out of Libya

UPDATE: Germany on Sunday advised all citizens currently in Libya to immediately leave the strife-torn country, following measures taken by countries including Britain and the United States. READ  

Technical glitch & boos kick-off Wagner fest
A scene from the opening night production of "Tannhäuser" at the 2014 Bayreuth Festival. Photo: DPA

Technical glitch & boos kick-off Wagner fest

The opening night Friday of the world-famous Bayreuth Festival, the month-long summer opera extravaganza dedicated to the works of Richard Wagner, was halted for nearly an hour due to a technical hitch while fans were not impressed with the modern take of "Tannhäuser". READ  

Lufthansa to resume Tel Aviv flights
A Lufthansa flight at Ben Gurion International Airport. Photo: DPA

Lufthansa to resume Tel Aviv flights

UPDATE: German flag carrier Lufthansa said Friday evening it would resume flights to and from Tel Aviv on Saturday after a four-day suspension due to the conflict in the Gaza strip. READ  

Pro-Gaza, Israel marches choke city centres
Protesters gather in Berlin on Friday. Photo: DPA

Pro-Gaza, Israel marches choke city centres

UPDATE: Pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli demonstrators marched in Berlin and other cities on Friday's International Quds Day, as thousands of police stood ready to deal with excesses, including anti-Semitism that had marred earlier protests. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: Bundesarchiv/Bild 183-S45825
Culture
Germany puts 700,000 WWI docs online
Photo: DPA
Society
This man wants to give all of us €12,000 a year
Photo: DPA
Education
Top university switches master's courses to English
instagram.com/gotzemario
Gallery
Germany's World Cup stars share their holiday photos
Travel
Plans unveiled for bike trail along former Iron Curtain
Photo: DPA
Sport
Yoga helped Jogi's boys bring World Cup home
Photo: DPA
National
Pressure on police over anti-Semitic protests
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The Local List: 12 best words in German
Photo: DPA
Politics
View from Germany: 'Nobody will win in an economic war with Russia'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
German Bucket List: How many of these can you tick off?
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Photo: Shutterstock
Features
Some of the most embarrassing mistakes you can make in German
Education
Raising the bar for law & business 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
Sponsored Article
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
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

3,305
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd