• Germany edition
 
German pension tax bills anger Austrians
Photo: DPA

German pension tax bills anger Austrians

Published: 29 Mar 2013 10:48 GMT+01:00
Updated: 29 Mar 2013 10:48 GMT+01:00

Wolfgang Nolz, head of customs and international affairs at the Austrian Finance Ministry, told Austrian radio that the notion of suddenly demanding back payments was unique in European tax history.

The amounts to be repaid range from €5 to several thousand and date back to 2005. “It’s barely possible to suddenly pay that all back in one lump,” Nolz said. Some 150,000 people are thought to be affected.

Vienna called it an “unfortunate move.” Austria’s conservative finance minister Maria Fekter is thought to have addressed the issue with her German counterpart Wolfgang Schäuble some months ago.

A delegation is expected to travel to Neubrandenburg in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, home to the tax office responsible for Germans in receipt of pensions abroad, after Easter with the aim of discussing possible exemptions.

DPA/The Local/kkf

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

15:05 March 29, 2013 by chicagolive
LMAO oh my God I feel out my seat laughing, does he really think Germans will give a tax exemption. Kill a kid and it will take months before you might even see trial and you can get off with 7 years and a mental problem. Forget a tax form due on March 1 they will be at your door March 15 to haul you off to jail for 12 years.
18:46 March 31, 2013 by Kennneth Ingle
What is unusual about German tax offices demanding money from pensioners living abroad? Britain takes similar action towards Britons who do not live overseas permanently. These are expected, at the very latest, to pay income tax on returning to the country, for earnings received outside of British jurisdiction.

The truth is, that often wealthier Germans take a sham residence abroad, in order to avoid German taxes, although they spend most of their time in Germany.

In my opinion, it is more unfair, that the German authorities also place tax and charge health insurance charges on some foreign pensions, although these have been subject to social insurance deductions during the time of employment. The same applies to some private pensions which have been financed alone by the pensioner. A return of such money to the payer cannot strictly be regarded as income, but the grabbing hands of the tax department show no mercy.
06:39 April 1, 2013 by luise28
California does this too........thousands of pensioners move to Arizona or Texas to alleviate high taxes, but THE TAX MAN
10:53 April 1, 2013 by ChrisRea
@ Kennneth Ingle

According to the German Tax Code, the private pensions are taxed only if the contributions were given tax relief. And in general, also the contributions to the state pensions are given tax relief (so you do not pay tax on money earned and paid right away to the pension funds). So instead of taxing the money during the contribution period, they are taxed when the pension is paid out.
Today's headlines
Rocket Internet shares disappoint on first day
It was more of a bear than a bull market for Rocket Internet co-founder Oliver Samwer (centre). Photo: DPA

Rocket Internet shares disappoint on first day

Start-up platform Rocket Internet entered the Frankfurt stock market on Thursday, in what was hailed as a milestone for German online firms, but the company's share price immediately fell by more than ten percent. READ  

How good is Germany for the elderly?
Photo: DPA

How good is Germany for the elderly?

A study comparing quality of life for older people around the world has ranked Germany 5th out of 96 countries. How good a place is Germany for the elderly? READ  

Cars set on fire across Berlin overnight
A burnt out car on Alten Jakobstraße, Kreuzberg, on Thursday morning.

Cars set on fire across Berlin overnight

Ten cars were set on fire across Berlin on Wednesday night and Thursday morning in the second night of disturbances in the city. READ  

Organized crime on the rise in Germany
Police escort a motorcycle gang in Schleswig-Holstein. Photo: DPA

Organized crime on the rise in Germany

Organized criminals are increasingly active in Germany, with the mafia as well as biker and international gangs making headway in the country, according to a government report. READ  

Nazi hunters find 80 living 'war criminals'
Jerusalem's Simon Wiesenthal Centre director Efraim Zuroff at the launch of a campaign to find remaining war criminals last year. Photo: DPA

Nazi hunters find 80 living 'war criminals'

The Israeli branch of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre on Wednesday urged Germany to prosecute alleged members of Nazi death squads during World War II, giving it a list of 80 suspects. READ  

Germany ranks third in world university list
Students at Munich's LMU. Photo: DPA

Germany ranks third in world university list

German universities have shot up the world's leading higher education rankings, with Germany now having more institutions among the world's best than any other country after the US and UK. READ  

The Local List
Eight expat groups to save you in Germany
Photo: Jan Perlich/Munich RFC

Eight expat groups to save you in Germany

Think you're the only English speaker in your town or region? Think again! The Local List this week runs through eight of the best expat groups and clubs in Germany. READ  

Victims of GDR regime get benefit boost
Former GDR political prisoners Hartmut (l) and Gerda Stachowitz in a East Berlin prison which has stood empty for 20 years. Photo: DPA

Victims of GDR regime get benefit boost

Benefit payments to former political prisoners of ex-communist East Germany (GDR) will be raised to send an "important message" 25 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the government said on Wednesday. READ  

Cabinet agrees cap on city rent rises
Apartments in Leipzig. Photo: DPA

Cabinet agrees cap on city rent rises

Germany's cabinet agreed on Wednesday to cap ballooning property rents in high-demand urban neighbourhoods in a law set to come into force early next year. READ  

Berlin flights disrupted by WWII bomb find
Passengers are delayed at Tegel Airport. Photo: DPA

Berlin flights disrupted by WWII bomb find

UPDATE: The discovery of a US World War II bomb disrupted flights at Berlin’s Tegel Airport on Wednesday afternoon, with no flights taking off or landing for 30 minutes. The bomb has now been defused but later flights are still delayed. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Eight expat groups to save you in Germany
Munich
Bavarian independence becomes a reality... (online)
Photo: DPA/Police
National
'Criminals are at work in refugee homes'
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
Immigrants have created how many German jobs?
Photo: DPA
National
Revealed: Germany's military feet of clay
Marks & Spencer
Sponsored Article
Marks and Spencer: Win €300 toward your new autumn wardrobe
Photo: Shutterstock
Society
Quiz: How good is your German?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Thousands take to Berlin's streets for marathon
Photo: DPA
Society
'Incest should be legal,' says ethics board
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten noises that sound very different in German
Photo: DPA
Society
QUIZ: Can you pass the German citizenship test?
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten German words you'll never want to hear again
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

3,155
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd