Navigation and service

22 May 2018

Tax rev­enue in April 2018

Information on tax revenue from the Finance Ministry’s monthly report for May 2018.

Trends in general government tax revenue

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

2018

April

Year‑on‑year
change

January to

April

Year‑on‑year
change

2018 estimates4

Year‑on‑year
change

in €m

in %

in €m

in %

in €m

in %

Joint taxes

           

Wages tax2

17,136

+6.1

65,196

+6.1

206,450

+5.6

Assessed income tax

1,548

+11.5

19,188

+4.3

61,650

+3.7

Non-assessed taxes on earnings

1,614

+26.4

5,126

+4.1

21,900

+4.7

Final withholding tax on interest and capital gains

627

 -6.3

3,710

+16.5

7,895

+7.7

Corporation tax

413

 -25.0

9,832

+8.5

32,330

+10.5

Value added taxes (VAT)

16,997

 -1.8

76,246

+1.9

235,000

+3.8

Trade tax apportionment

921

+1.5

1,098

 -5.7

4,758

+1.6

Increased trade tax apportionment

874

+1.0

987

 -5.6

3,899

+0.1

Total joint taxes

40,131

+2.6

181,383

+4.2

573,882

+4.8

Federal taxes

Energy duty

3,405

+13.7

8,270

+5.9

41,300

+0.7

Tobacco duty

960

 -21.1

3,386

 -12.2

14,160

 -1.7

Spirits duty incl. alcopops duty

134

 -4.4

725

+1.0

2,100

+0.3

Insurance tax

788

+4.9

7,176

+3.6

13,670

+3.0

Electricity duty

591

+1.6

2,316

 -0.5

6,930

 -0.2

Motor vehicle tax

742

 -1.9

3,344

+1.6

9,010

+0.7

Aviation tax

98

+10.4

291

+4.5

1,175

+4.9

Nuclear fuel duty

0

X

0

X

0

X

Solidarity surcharge

1,198

+5.3

5,785

+5.9

18,750

+4.4

Other federal taxes

120

 -2.1

496

+2.0

1,467

+1.5

Total federal taxes

8,036

+3.2

31,788

+2.0

108,562

+8.6

Länder taxes

Inheritance tax

992

+97.1

2,423

+13.0

6,020

 -1.5

Real property transfer tax

1,121

+21.1

4,697

+9.6

13,900

+5.8

Betting and lottery tax

163

+2.8

642

 -1.0

1,851

+0.8

Beer duty

49

 -6.8

192

 -2.8

665

+0.1

Other Länder taxes

29

+2.7

237

+3.9

465

+3.1

Total Länder taxes

2,355

+41.1

8,191

+9.2

22,901

+3.1

EU own resources

Customs duty

405

 -10.1

1,675

+0.1

5,200

+2.7

VAT-based own resources

181

 -8.1

904

+14.8

2,510

+6.3

GNI-based own resources

1,681

 -0.7

6,878

+231.7

22,610

+58.6

Total EU own resources

2,267

 -3.2

9,458

+108.6

30,320

+39.8

Federation3

22,098

+3.3

99,069

 -1.0

321,336

+3.9

Länder 3

23,136

+4.7

98,947

+3.7

310,276

+4.0

EU

2,267

 -3.2

9,458

+108.6

30,320

+39.8

Local authorities’ share of income tax and value added tax

3,426

+7.9

15,563

+8.3

48,613

+7.7

Total tax revenue (excluding local authority taxes)

50,927

+3.9

223,037

+4.0

710,545

+5.3

Tax revenue in April 2018

Total tax revenue in April 2018 (excluding local authority taxes) was up by 3.9% over the same month last year. This positive trend continued to be driven by the yield from joint taxes, which climbed by 2.6% on the year. Wages tax, assessed income tax and non-assessed taxes on earnings all posted strong revenue growth. In contrast, receipts from value added taxes, corporation tax and final withholding tax on interest and capital gains exhibited a downward trend. Revenue from taxes accruing solely to the Federation was up by 3.2% on the year in April, and the yield from taxes accruing solely to the Länder surged by 41.1%.

EU own resources

Transfers of own resources to the EU, including customs duties, fell by 3.2% on the year in April 2018, to roughly €2.3bn. Last year, Germany was granted a discount on its VAT-based own resources as a result of the implementation of the Own Resources Decision. This led to a significant reduction in transfers in 2017. In addition, the annual amount of GNI-based own resources that Germany had to pay to the EU was set lower in the 2017 EU budget. Overall, this meant that Germany’s transfers of own resources to the EU were considerably lower in 2017. Transfers to the EU are based on the planned financial framework for 2018, with fluctuations over the course of the year depending on the EU’s financing needs at any given time.

Overview of the January–April 2018 period

Total tax receipts were up by 4.0% on the year in the first four months of 2018. Broken down by category, revenue from joint taxes was up by 4.2%, receipts from federal taxes were up by 2.0%, and the yield from Länder taxes was up by 9.2%.

Distribution among the Federation, Länder and local authorities

The Federation’s tax receipts (after accounting for supplementary federal grants to the Länder) were up by 3.3% on the year in April 2018. Länder tax receipts recorded a marked year-on-year gain of 4.7%, driven by strong yields from the taxes that accrue exclusively to the Länder. Local authorities’ share of revenue from joint taxes was up by 7.9% on the year.

Joint taxes

Wages tax

Revenue from wages tax again recorded strong growth in April 2018, with gross receipts posting a 5.0% gain on the year. This outcome reflects the positive trends in both employment and wages. Child benefit payments – which are financed from wages tax receipts – declined slightly on the year by 0.4%, but this figure was significantly distorted by a change in the underlying statistical data. Absent this effect, child benefit payments would have posted an increase of about 3%, and the increase in gross wages tax receipts would have amounted to roughly 5.6%. Nevertheless, this effect did not have an impact on cash receipts, which were up by 6.1% on the year in April. In cumulative terms, cash receipts from wages tax were up by 6.1% on the year in the first four months of 2018.

Corporation tax

Gross receipts from corporation tax fell by 26.4% to €0.4bn in April, traditionally a low-revenue month for this tax. There was a sharp increase in retroactive prepayments resulting from corporation tax assessments, but this failed to offset a drop in the balance between back-payments and refunds. After subtracting investment allowances, cash receipts from corporation tax were down by 25.0% on the year in April 2018. Taken cumulatively, cash receipts from corporation tax were up by 8.5% on the year in the first four months of 2018.

Assessed income tax

Gross revenue from assessed income tax posted a strong year-on-year gain of 10.7% in April, a month when revenue from this tax tends to be low. As was the case with corporation tax, retroactive prepayments were up sharply. At the same time, the balance between back-payments and refunds (excluding employee refunds) remained constant on the year. Employee refunds increased by 10.0% on the year in April; after these are subtracted from the gross figure (along with investment allowance payments and owner-occupied homes premiums, which are insignificant in terms of amount), net cash receipts from income tax were up by 11.5% on the year in April 2018. In cumulative terms, cash receipts from assessed income tax were up by 4.3% on the year in the first four months of 2018.

Non-assessed taxes on earnings

Gross receipts from non-assessed taxes on earnings were up sharply on the year in April, by 15.7%. Combined with the decline in refunds paid out by the Federal Central Tax Office, which are financed from this revenue, cash receipts from non-assessed taxes on earnings were up by 26.4% in April 2018. Revenue from these taxes shows a high level of volatility over the course of the year, depending on how companies – major corporations in particular – schedule their dividend payments. Cumulative cash receipts from non-assessed taxes on earnings were up by 4.1% on the year in the first four months of 2018.

Final withholding tax on interest and capital gains

Revenue from final withholding tax on interest and capital gains was down by 6.3% on the year in April 2018. This was probably due to a year-on-year decline in tax revenue from capital gains. Taken cumulatively, cash receipts from final withholding tax on interest and capital gains were up by 16.5% on the year in the four months from January to April 2018.

Value added taxes

The yield from value added taxes posted a moderate gain of 1.8% on the year in April. Domestic VAT revenue remained basically unchanged on the year, with a slight plus of 0.1%, while import VAT receipts fell by 6.5%. Cumulative cash receipts from value added taxes were up by 1.9% on the year in the first four months of 2018.

Taxes accruing to the Federation

Receipts from taxes accruing solely to the Federation were up by 3.2% on the year in April 2018. Taxes posting revenue growth included energy duty (up 13.7%), solidarity surcharge (up 5.3%) and insurance tax (up 4.9%). Tobacco duty revenue was down sharply on the year in April, by 21.1%. Trends in revenue from other taxes had only a minor impact on the overall results for federal taxes.

Taxes accruing to the Länder

Revenue from taxes accruing solely to the Länder was up by 41.1% on the year in April 2018. The yield from inheritance tax was up by 97.1% over the same month last year, due to a one-off effect. In addition, receipts from real property transfer tax recorded a gain of 21.1%, with strong revenue growth in nearly all of the Länder. Other taxes posting revenue increases included betting and lottery tax (up 2.8%) and fire protection tax (up 3.3%). In contrast, beer duty revenue was down by 6.8% on the year in April.