• 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)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

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
Adopt a Grandparent
Photo: DPA

Adopt a Grandparent

When Verena Herz found out she was pregnant with twins, she had no idea what she was in for. Luckily, she was able to borrow a grandmother. The Local learns the advantages of welcoming a new grandparent into the family and why Omas and Opas say: "I tell everybody about it!" READ  

Merkel targets 'shadow banks' in Lindau speech
Chancellor Angela Merkel opens the 2014 Lindau meetings. Photo: DPA

Merkel targets 'shadow banks' in Lindau speech

Chancellor Angela Merkel has opened an economics conference in Lindau, Bavaria, with a call for more regulation of so-called shadow banks. READ  

Dying town centres seek the miracle cure
A senior couple walk down Delmenhorst's main pedestrian promenade, amid a string of empty shops. Photo: Tomas Urbina

Dying town centres seek the miracle cure

Home to two-thirds of Germany's population, many of its small cities and towns are struggling to revive their declining centres. The Local's Tomas Urbina reports from Delmenhorst in Lower Saxony, as it tries to dig its way out of the economic doldrums. READ  

Quick-thinking trucker stops wrong-way driver
Signs warning drivers against entering a motorway off-road. Photo: DPA

Quick-thinking trucker stops wrong-way driver

Erich Mairleitner thought Tuesday would be another ordinary day hauling a load along the A3 motorway, but found himself the hero of the hour after stepping in to stop an accident. READ  

Germany ready to send arms to Iraqi Kurds
Usula van der Leyen and Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Photo: DPA

Germany ready to send arms to Iraqi Kurds

Germany is ready to send weapons to support Iraqi Kurds in their battle against the "barbaric" jihadist militants of the Islamic State, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Wednesday. READ  

The Local List
10 things to do before summer is really over
Photo: DPA

10 things to do before summer is really over

The German weather service (DWD) is blaming "Wild Wilma" for blanketing the country in cooler temperatures, but we know it's going to get a lot colder before the end of summer. This week's Local List challenges you to take advantage before autumn really sets in. READ  

Energy policy falls foul of federal auditors
Lightning illuminates the sky above a wind turbine. Photo: DPA

Energy policy falls foul of federal auditors

The Federal Court of Auditors (BRH) has sharply criticized Chancellor Angela Merkel's energy policy, saying that the previous coalition government failed to produce adequate financial plans. READ  

China orders German's execution for murders
A paramilitary guard stands inside Beijing's No.1 Detention Centre. Photo: DPA

China orders German's execution for murders

Update: A German man has been condemned to death in China for murdering his ex-girlfriend and her partner in a frenzied attack, it was reported on Wednesday. READ  

German aid planes to Iraq delayed
All filled up and nowhere to go. Photo: DPA

German aid planes to Iraq delayed

A German military flight to the conflict-addled region in northern Iraq has been delayed because Turkey denied landing permission for the layover at Incirlik airbase, according to a spokesman for the air force. READ  

Bomb shuts down A3 motorway
Photo: DPA

Bomb shuts down A3 motorway

A controlled detonation of a 500-kg bomb from the Second World War has left a 20-metre-wide crater in the middle of one of Germany's busiest traffic corridors on Tuesday night. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Culture
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? 10 reasons why you should.
Photo: DPA
National
Berlin's senate puts the brakes on Über
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The mysteries of Berlin's abandoned theme park
Photo: DPA
Culture
How I deal with my German Hausmeister
Photo: Ingrid Eulenfan/flickr
Gallery
Nine German treats you'll want to eat right now (and one you won't)
Photo: DPA
Society
Who's getting German citizenship?
Photo: DPA
Culture
How World War I changed Germany forever
Photo: APA/DPA
Gallery
The 12 best words in Austrian German
Photo: DPA
Society
'Look at those German shanty towns!'
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
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
Bilingual school turning education on its head
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

3,347
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd