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Finance minister wants soldiers taxed

The Local · 7 Mar 2012, 09:40

Published: 07 Mar 2012 09:40 GMT+01:00

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According to reports in both the Berliner Zeitung and Bild newspapers, who were apparently leaked drafts of next year’s tax plans, both Defence Minister Thomas de Maizière and Family Minister Kristina Schröder have expressed resistance to the idea.

“We believe that the tax-free status [for military personnel] needs to be kept to make it more attractive,” a spokesman for the Defence Ministry said.

Germany’s old national service, which was replaced with a voluntary army and a federal civic volunteer scheme last year, always enjoyed tax-free income, and both the defence and family ministries use this feature to entice new volunteers.

But according to the Berliner Zeitung, Schäuble is arguing that since the army is now entirely professional and that civic volunteers earn an income, this now contravenes Germany’s tax equality laws.

The German army federation described the idea as “a devastating signal.”

“This is a voluntary service for society,” federation head Ulrich Kirsch told the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper. “Taxing it would mean the volunteers would have less in their wallets and the service would be significantly less attractive.”

Story continues below…

The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

10:12 March 7, 2012 by raandy
What is the entry level pay for the military. If it is on par with the civilian wages then the military is subsidized by the government.

I know little about the German military ,only that the few people I have met that are members,tell me it is not easy to remain in the service for a career, but I truly have no idea if this is true.
12:53 March 7, 2012 by nemo999

The military has always been subsidized by the government.
17:39 March 7, 2012 by strahlungsamt
Last time I read, the Germans were having trouble finding young men to join the military and keeping them there. Since the end of conscription, almost nobody wants to join.

Have Germans ever heard of a little thing called "Motivation"? Seems not.
18:53 March 7, 2012 by Englishted
@Chango Mutney

With such isolationist tendances you could be the new Chamberlain,both the ww1 and ww2 could be said to be "not our business."
22:37 March 7, 2012 by yourkeau
It's amazing to know, that people killers do not pay taxes in this country.
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