• Germany's news in English
 

German pension tax bills anger Austrians

Published: 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
'Hot Boy from Germany' wins Vietnam Idol
Image: Fremantle Media/YouTube

'Hot Boy from Germany' wins Vietnam Idol

A 22-year-old from Hanover has become the latest winner of Vietnam Idol – bagging $27,000 along with his new title. READ  

Man promises to stop coffin naps in public
If you want to rest in place while you're still alive, a car park isn't the place place to choose. Photo: DPA

Man promises to stop coffin naps in public

When a man walking his dog alerted police to the fact that a black coffin was lying in the middle of a public parking place, the cops were surprised to find someone inside. READ  

Court orders boss to pay worker for changing
Photo: Pixabay

Court orders boss to pay worker for changing

A mechanic from western Germany is set to receive €350 in back payments – after claiming he should be paid for the time he spent showering and getting dressed for work. READ  

In Pictures
Wacken festival draws metalheads of the world
A reveler at Wacken Open Air 2015. Photo: DPA

Wacken festival draws metalheads of the world

Armies of black-clad fans gathered for the world's biggest heavy metal festival between Thursday and Saturday, marking 25 years of headbanging fun in the small town of Wacken in northern Germany. READ  

Railway sunbather brings trains to a halt
Photo: DPA

Railway sunbather brings trains to a halt

A plucky sunbather brought train services in North Rhine-Westphalia to an abrupt halt at the weekend - after deciding to catch some rays on the tracks. READ  

Spiegel: Merkel wants fourth term in power
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA

Spiegel: Merkel wants fourth term in power

According to Germany's most influential political magazine, Spiegel, Angela Merkel has decided to run for a fourth term in power and has already started talks on who will run her campaign. READ  

State leaders call for faster asylum processes
Refugees at a temporary reception centre in Baden Württemberg. Photo: DPA

State leaders call for faster asylum processes

Several state leaders called for more investment in processing asylum applications over the weekend as the backlog continues to put severe strain on current infrastructure. READ  

German sets Florida to Cuba speedboat record
Roger Klueh. Photo: Ernesto Mastrascusa / DPA

German sets Florida to Cuba speedboat record

A German businessman and power boating fanatic on Saturday broke a 57-year-old record for the fastest boat crossing between the United States and Cuba. READ  

Report: German refugee figures 'underestimated'
Migrants on a train on their way to the EU. Photo: Djordje Savic / DPA

Report: German refugee figures 'underestimated'

Germany has hosted more than 300,000 asylum seekers since the start of the year, said the daily Die Welt on Saturday, nearly 50,000 more than first thought, as Berlin prepares for a record influx of refugees in 2015. READ  

Migrant wounded in German police shooting
Photo: DPA

Migrant wounded in German police shooting

A Guinean migrant who caused a brawl in a home for asylum seekers in Germany was shot and seriously wounded by police, local media reported. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Business & Money
Start-up helps new Berliners short cut bureaucracy
National
The 1,000s of Germans massacred after the Second World War
Sport
Germany star scores own goal with PR gaffe
Features
'Women-only' parking: sensible or sexist?
Politics
Satire and reality blur in parody party's strife
National
13-year-old boy detained for trying to join Isis
Culture
Berlin restaurant serves up Greek Crisis Menu
Rhineland
Doctor on trial after woman wakes in morgue
Society
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Sponsored Article
Outsourcing drives Apreel's Europe growth
Society
Police bust kinky Bavarian couple over painful love-making
Politics
Merkel brings Palestinian girl to tears
Hamburg
Amateur archaeologist finds Nazi gold hoard
National
Could Merkel learn a lesson in love from this doppelganger?
Travel
Why you should stay in Germany for the summer holidays
Sport
German press tell Schweinsteiger 'good riddance'
National
Hamburg gets a bouncing 100kg baby girl
Society
In North Germany, money sometimes DOES grow on trees
National
Hero mechanics stop Bavaria shooting spree
International
Denmark says that border controls are coming
National
Did hackers take control of German missile battery?
Politics
Munich gives gay pride green light
Business & Money
Berlin rent controls hit prices hard
National
Fighting to breastfeed in public without shame
Society
Ice cream for dogs 'gobbled up in one gulp'
Education
Are hotpants a feminist issue?
Rhineland
Lion cub reunited with mother
National
How the heatwave is cracking Germany's Autobahns
International
Why the French are more sympathetic to Greece than the Germans
Sponsored Article
Crans-Montana: International expat hub
Gallery
Police seize pensioner's WW2 heavy weapons haul
National
How to survive the Europe-wide heatwave
Sport
Is Schweini already out of the door at Bayern?
Politics
How German media shaped the Greece crisis
National
Car assembly robot crushes worker at Volkswagen
Rhineland
Weathermen red-faced over heatwave snow warning
Society
An eye for an eye? Mum protects child in playground with pepperspray
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's final day in Germany
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's second day in Germany
National
Queen Elizabeth II's first day in Germany - as it happened
National
Bus passengers tell fake racists where to get off
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

7,116
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd