Sales tax can be charged twice

Tax on the tax: The state collects twice | on these goods study

There are many taxes in Germany. However, some goods are taxed twice - gasoline, for example. In view of the rise in fuel prices, the taxpayers' association sees a need for action.

If you buy groceries, clothes or a new washing machine, you pay VAT - so far, so well known. But for some goods this is not just added to the net price. Instead, there is often a consumption tax on top of it - and only then is the value added tax calculated.

In concrete terms, this means that you pay a tax on the tax, so to speak. This double burden brings the state 12 billion euros in additional income every year. This is confirmed by a new study by the German Taxpayers Institute (DSi), which is exclusively available to t-online.

Taxpayers Association: "Double taxation is simply unfair"

This is a real nuisance for consumers, judges the Association of Taxpayers (BdSt). This is especially true now that the VAT has been back to the old level and the CO2 price has been introduced. Because through double taxation, the state burden on important consumer goods continues to rise.

The consumption taxes include, for example, the energy tax, the coffee tax, the electricity tax and the beer tax. They are levied from the manufacturer or dealer, but they are allowed to pass the tax on to the customer. This brings the state revenues of more than 65 billion euros every year.

It will be particularly expensive for drivers

Three calculation examples show what it means for consumers when VAT is not only levied on the net price, but also on electricity tax, energy tax and the like:

  • According to DSi calculations, the tax portion contributes one liter of gasoline (Gross price: 1.35 euros) currently around 69 percent of the gross price. That corresponds to an effective tax rate, i.e. a surcharge on the net price, of around 222 percent.
  • At one kilowatt hour of electricity (Gross price: approx. 0.32 euros) the tax and duty share is around 51 percent and the surcharge on the net price is 106 percent.
  • The taxation of coffee. Although the reduced VAT rate of 7 percent applies, together with the coffee tax, the tax burden increases to almost 40 percent of the net price.

"This double taxation is simply unfair and frustrates taxpayers," the President of the Taxpayers Association, Reiner Holznagel, told t-online.

In view of the additional burden of the CO2 price, Holznagel demands: "It is time for politicians to take countermeasures. In order to provide relief, they could, for example, noticeably reduce the electricity tax."

There is enough leeway, because the German electricity tax rate for privately consumed electricity is 20 times higher than the EU minimum tax rate. "A relief of around 6 billion euros per year would therefore be possible," said Holznagel.