German Aviation Tax Fiscal Representation and Compliance

Following in the footsteps of countries like Ireland and the UK which already levy Air Passenger Duty on passengers and airlines, Germany has introduced an “Aviation Tax” (Luftverkehrsteuer) from 1 January 2011.

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Air passenger taxes are duties levied by the government of the country of departure on most passengers travelling by air. Whereas Air Passenger Duty in the UK was introduced as an “environmental tax”, the German government has implemented Aviation Tax as one of many measures included in its austerity budget.

German Air Travel Tax from 1 January 2011

The tax is levied on all departing flights operated by commercial airlines. From 1 January 2011, all flights departing from Germany are subject to Aviation Tax. The amount of tax to be paid depends on the distance to the final destination. Flights with a journey distance of up to 2,500km (1,500 miles) will incur a tax of €8 per passenger. The amount increases to €25 for distances of up to 6,000km (3,600 miles) and €45 for distances beyond this. This means that the levy for domestic and European flights will be €8, whereas a long haul-flight from Germany to the US for example will be €45, a cost likely to be passed on to the passenger. Officially, the tax is borne by the airline.

GERMAN Aviation Tax Compliance

Airlines are obliged to collect the tax and pay it over by the 10th of the following month, along with a return filing. Non-resident airlines are required to appoint a Fiscal Representative; the Fiscal Representative must be resident in Germany and is also required to hold a special licence granted by the German customs authority (Zoll). TMF Germany can act as such a representative.

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