How Germany plans to increase child benefits and provide tax relief
Germany's governing coalition has agreed to increase child benefits (Kindergeld) and offer tax relief. Here's what you need to know.
The cabinet of the coalition government, made up of Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats and the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) agreed Wednesday to increase child benefit – or Kindergeld – by €15 per month next year.
The move is part of the Family Relief Act (Familienentlastungsgesetz), which aims to take the financial burden off middle and lower class families. It's part of an overall package which is setting the federal government back €9.8 billion over 2019 and 2020.
The child benefit is to rise to €219 per month on January 1st 2021 for the first and second child, to €225 per month for the third child, and to €250 from the fourth child onwards.
According to the bill, families will also receive tax relief. for example, the tax-free child allowance (Kinderfreibetrag) is to be raised by more than €500 to €8,388.
In total, families would be relieved of around €12 billion per year, said Finance Minister Olaf Scholz of the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD).
"This is good news for all families and children in Germany," he said.
Families are also set to benefit from a cash boost due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The planned Kinderbonus of €300 per child is to be transferred in two instalments of €150 each in September this year, and October. It will be paid to parents alongside Kindergeld.
Boost for taxpayers
Meanwhile, all taxpayers in Germany are to receive a boost. The basic tax-free allowance will be increased from €9,408 to €9,696 from next year.
Meanwhile, the limit, from which the highest tax rate of 42 percent must be paid, will rise from €57,052 to an annual income of €57,919. A further increase of the income limits is planned for 2022.
However, all changes agreed by the cabinet must still be approved by the Bundestag and Bundesrat before they can come into force.