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20 October 2017

Tax rev­enue in Septem­ber 2017

Information on tax revenue from the Finance Ministry’s monthly report for October 2017.

Trends in general government tax revenue

Current-year trends in tax revenue (excluding local authority taxes)

2017

September

Year‑on‑year
change

January to

September

Year‑on‑year
change

2017 estimates4

Year‑on‑year
change

in €m

in %

in €m

in %

in €m

in %

Joint taxes

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wages tax2

14,580

+2.5

140,817

+6.2

194,250

+5.1

Assessed income tax

13,498

+6.4

44,555

+13.1

57,500

+6.8

Non-assessed taxes on earnings

887

 -6.2

17,133

+9.2

19,450

+0.0

Final withholding tax on interest and capital gains

402

+16.4

5,464

+22.6

6,548

+10.2

Corporation tax

5,826

+8.2

22,416

+5.2

27,080

 -1.3

Value added taxes (VAT)

18,518

+4.7

168,227

+4.5

227,550

+4.8

Trade tax apportionment

4

+288.8

2,593

+14.3

4,658

+9.9

Increased trade tax apportionment

4

+283.1

2,119

+11.1

3,879

+7.9

Total joint taxes

53,719

+4.8

403,324

+6.5

540,915

+4.7

Federal taxes

Energy duty

3,427

+0.8

25,400

+3.1

40,200

+0.3

Tobacco duty

1,337

+14.2

10,138

+2.7

14,190

+0.0

Spirits duty incl. alcopops duty

161

 -1.8

1,556

+1.2

2,070

 -0.0

Insurance tax

704

+18.8

11,199

+4.4

13,200

+3.4

Electricity duty

567

+3.5

5,158

+6.5

6,600

+0.5

Motor vehicle tax

694

 -3.6

7,042

 -0.2

9,000

+0.5

Aviation tax

108

+5.5

782

+6.4

1,125

+4.8

Nuclear fuel duty

0

X

-7,261

X

0

X

Solidarity surcharge

2,040

+4.6

13,276

+7.2

17,600

+4.4

Other federal taxes

124

+2.8

1,056

 -0.2

1,458

 -0.0

Total federal taxes

9,160

+3.8

68,347

 -6.6

105,443

+1.0

Länder taxes

Inheritance tax

525

 -1.2

4,676

 -14.2

6,010

 -14.2

Real property transfer tax

1,106

+11.6

9,883

+7.2

12,730

+2.6

Betting and lottery tax

137

 -13.0

1,381

+2.4

1,870

+3.4

Beer duty

63

 -3.9

509

 -0.8

671

 -1.0

Other Länder taxes

32

+1.3

373

+4.9

453

+2.6

Total Länder taxes

1,864

+4.9

16,821

 -0.4

21,734

 -2.7

EU own resources

Customs duty

457

+1.9

3,819

 -0.0

5,200

+1.7

VAT-based own resources

197

 -44.4

1,772

 -44.4

2,450

 -42.4

GNI-based own resources

1,579

 -13.4

9,482

 -34.2

18,200

 -8.6

Total EU own resources

2,233

 -15.0

15,073

 -29.6

25,850

 -11.7

Federation3

29,996

+6.2

223,322

+5.2

308,028

+6.6

Länder 3

28,211

+4.5

220,924

+5.8

294,824

+2.1

EU

2,233

 -15.0

15,073

 -29.6

25,850

 -11.7

Local authorities’ share of income tax and value added tax

4,759

+6.4

32,992

+10.2

44,590

+7.8

Total tax revenue (excluding local authority taxes)

65,200

+4.6

492,311

+4.2

673,292

+3.9

Tax revenue in September 2017

Total tax revenue (excluding local authority taxes) recorded a year-on-year increase of 4.6% in September 2017. This increase was driven mainly by revenue from joint taxes, which continued its strong upward trend with a gain of 4.8%. September, a month in which a lot of tax prepayments are made, showed sharp gains in revenue from assessed income tax and corporation tax. Revenue from taxes that accrue solely to the Federation was up by 3.8% on the year, while receipts from taxes accruing solely to the Länder rose by 4.9%.

EU own resources

Payments of own resources to the EU, including customs duties, fell by 15.0% in September 2017 compared with the same month last year. Taken cumulatively, own resources payments were down sharply on the year in the first nine months of 2017. Transfers have declined sharply this year as a result of (a) balances resulting from EU adjustments and amending budgets and (b) the implementation of the EU’s new Own Resources Decision. Overall, it is anticipated that Germany’s transfers of own resources to the EU will be lower this year than in 2016. The amount of the monthly transfers is determined by the EU’s financing needs at any given time.

Cumulative overview of the January–September 2017 period

Total tax receipts were up by 4.2% on the year in the first nine months of 2017, an increase that resulted from the above-average rise in receipts from joint taxes (+6.5%). In contrast, yields from taxes accruing solely to the Federation and from taxes accruing solely to the Länder posted drops of 6.6% and 0.4% respectively.

Distribution among the Federation, Länder and local authorities

The Federation’s tax receipts (after accounting for supplementary federal grants to the Länder) rose by 6.2% on the year in September 2017. This trend was driven by three factors: Firstly, revenue from federal taxes rose by 3.8%; secondly, there was a 4.1% rise in the Federation’s share of revenue from joint taxes, thirdly, payments owed by the Federation to the European Union and to the Länder were lower in September.

Länder tax receipts posted a year-on-year gain of 4.5% in September, after accounting for supplementary federal grants. This was due to an increase in revenue both from joint taxes (+5.1%) and from taxes accruing to the Länder (+4.9%). The local authorities’ share of revenue from joint taxes was up by 6.4% on the year.

Joint taxes

Wages tax

The upward trend in wages tax revenue seen in recent months continued in September 2017, buoyed by sustained positive employment trends and rising wages. Gross revenue from wages tax increased by 2.4% on the year. Child benefit payments, which are financed from wages tax receipts, were up by 2.0% compared with the same month last year. Hence cash receipts from wages tax posted an increase of 2.5%. The fact that the growth rate has been below average over the course of the year is due to a very high baseline figure in the previous year. Cash receipts from wages tax were up by 6.2% on the year in the period from January to September 2017.

Corporation tax

Gross receipts from corporation tax were up by 8.0% in September, a month when prepayments are due from taxpayers. Prepayments experienced a major boost in terms of volume, and disbursed refunds were also up, while back-payments were down slightly on the year. Cash receipts from corporation tax for the January–September 2017 period were up by 5.2% on the year. However, a high volume of corporation tax refunds is still expected due to high court rulings.1

Assessed income tax

As was the case for corporation tax, prepayments were due for assessed income tax in September, too. Revenue from tax payments in September generally account for a quarter of the annual total. Moreover, gross revenue from assessed income tax was again up sharply by 4.6% over September 2017. Revenue was boosted primarily by a rise in prepayments. After subtracting refunds disbursed to assessed employees in accordance with section 46 of the Income Tax Act (Einkommensteuergesetz) and after subtracting owner-occupied home premiums and investment grants, whose volume has now fallen to an inconsequential level, cash receipts from assessed income tax increased by 6.4% in September 2017. In cumulative terms, revenue from assessed income tax was up by 13.1% on the year in the period from January to September 2017.

Non-assessed taxes on earnings

Taxes on dividend distributions by corporations are the main source of revenue in the category of non-assessed taxes on earnings. After a strong increase in gross revenue from non-assessed taxes on earnings in August 2017, this revenue fell by 2.0% in September in purely numerical terms. It is highly probable that there was a shift between 2016 and 2017 in the timing of dividend payments over the course of the year, resulting in diverging due dates for tax payments and thus also in diverging payment dates for taxes. Refunds paid out by the Federal Central Tax Office, which are subtracted from revenue totals, also increased. On balance, cash receipts from non-assessed taxes on earnings fell by 6.2% on the year in September. Overall, however, receipts from non-assessed taxes on earnings posted a year-on-year gain of 9.2% in the period from January to September 2017.

Final withholding tax on interest and capital gains

Revenue from final withholding tax on interest and capital gains increased by 16.4% in September, continuing the positive trend which has been noticeable for this type of tax since February 2017. Given the ongoing low interest-rate environment, this cannot be attributed to taxes on interest. It is more likely to be linked to trends in capital gains. However, no separate statistics are kept on the two revenue components, so it is not possible to provide reliable information on this question. In cumulative terms, revenue from withholding tax on interest and capital gains was up by 22.6% on the year in the period from January to September 2017.

Value added taxes

Revenue from value added taxes rose by 4.7% in September. Receipts from domestic VAT posted an increase of just under 3.6%. Up by 7.7%, revenue from import VAT posted a far stronger increase. For the nine months from January to September 2017, value added tax revenue was up by 4.5% on the year.

Taxes accruing to the Federation

Revenue from taxes that accrue solely to the Federation increased by 3.8% in September 2017. Certain high-revenue federal taxes recorded significant rises in September 2017, for example energy duty (with revenue up 0.8%), tobacco duty (+14.2%), the solidarity surcharge (+4.6%), insurance tax (+18.8%) and electricity duty (+3.5%). Motor vehicle tax receipts were down by 3.6%. On a cumulative basis, revenue from taxes accruing solely to the Federation fell by 6.6% in the period from January to September 2017 due to refunds for nuclear fuel duty following the Federal Constitutional Court’s ruling of 13 April 2017.

Taxes accruing to the Länder

Receipts from taxes accruing solely to the Länder rose in September 2017, posting a gain of 4.9% on the year. This was mainly due to revenue from real property transfer tax, which posted a year-on-year increase of 11.6%. Revenue was down for inheritance tax (-1.2%), beer duty (-3.9%) and betting and lottery tax (-13.0%). Revenue from Länder taxes was down slightly, by 0.4% on the year, for the period from January to September 2017.

Footnotes

1
Federal Fiscal Court rulings on the STEKO case and on section 40 of the Capital Investment Companies Act.