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Eating sausage standing saves taxes

The Local · 24 Aug 2011, 18:07

Published: 24 Aug 2011 18:07 GMT+02:00

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In a precedent-setting decision, Germany’s highest fiscal court in Munich ruled a snack shop proprietors need only charge seven percent value-added tax for patrons eating on their feet rather than Germany’s normal 19 percent VAT.

However, the lower tax rate is valid only for venues without seating for their customers, as the court made a distinction between "food delivery" for a meal on the go and "restaurant services" elsewhere.

The specific case involved three snack wagons offering peckish Bavarians sausages at weekly markets. Although the owner had only levied the lower VAT, tax officials determined his wagons had small counters people could eat from. These surfaces, according to the court, were merely “helpful consumption fixtures” distinct from proper seated dining areas.

Nearby park benches and other spots to sit while wolfing down a Currywurst or Döner are also now exempt from overzealous taxmen hoping to add an extra dollop of VAT on a person’s meal.

But Jürgen Benad from Germany’s hotel and restaurant association Dehoga lamented the court ruling’s effect on the country’s mealtimes.

Story continues below…

“Whoever sits down and takes time for dining culture will be punished with higher prices,” he said.

DPA/DAPD/The Local/mry

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

01:13 August 25, 2011 by lenny van
How about allowing snack shops that are not allowed to have tables the option of either paying the extra tax or being allowed to set up tables. In the southeast corner of the English Garden an entrepreneur has converted and restored and the old toilet building and serve very delicious, healthy home-cooked meals at a reasonable price. The food is much better than the unaffordable, unhealthy food that is served at the beer garden for the tourists. However, because some bureaucrats or competitors were able to stop the owners from setting up tables, one has to eat standing up. After walking in the English Garden, it would be nice to relax and eat on a chair. Let's get a petition started.
03:49 August 25, 2011 by hochzeit520
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
10:45 August 25, 2011 by freechoice
what about zum mitnehmen?
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