German tax offices told to go easy on households and firms amid crisis

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German tax offices told to go easy on households and firms amid crisis
A person calculating their taxes. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/dpa-tmn | Christin Klose

German tax authorities should show leniency to people in view of the energy crisis, a letter from the Finance Ministry shows.


Taxpayers in Germany may not be able to pay their taxes due to the rocketing costs of energy, according to the Finance Ministry.

"The tax authorities will take this special situation into account appropriately for taxpayers" who are affected economically, the Ministry said in a letter coordinated with the tax authorities in the federal states. 

The letter says that additional pressure should not be placed on private households and companies due to the situation. 

It means that people should be able to defer tax payments or adjust advance payments if they request it.

READ ALSO: How the cost of living crisis is affecting people in Germany 


Those affected should contact authorities

The special treatment on income and corporate tax will initially apply until March 31st, 2023, according to the letter.

The Ministry refers to the huge economic consequences of the war in Ukraine and sanctions against Russia, and mentions how spiralling energy prices are impacting people's budgets.

People affected are urged to contact their local tax office. 

The German government has brought in - and is planning more - measures to help support people financially. 

At the start of this month, for instance, the VAT rate on gas was temporarily reduced from 19 to seven percent.

READ ALSO: How to save money on your taxes in Germany


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