Correction of the balance sheet

What is a correction of the balance sheet?

The balance sheet can be corrected due to inappropriate or incorrect values. The regulations for the correction of the balance sheet are regulated in tax law (Section 4 (2) EStG, Section 15 (2) EStG). They do not belong to the GoB, but are closely related to them, since corrections can only be made in compliance with the GoB and want to achieve a correctness of the balance sheet.

A distinction must be made between:

The change in the balance sheet in which a permissible valuation is replaced by another permissible valuation. The prerequisite for this is that accounting and valuation options are given.


The taxpayer may change the balance sheet according to Section 4 (2) EStG even after it has been submitted to the tax office, provided that it does not comply with the principles of proper bookkeeping in accordance with the provisions of this law.

In addition, a change in the balance sheet is only permitted if it is closely related to a change in terms of time and content and if the effect of the change on profit is sufficient.

Balance sheet adjustment

The balance sheet adjustment, in which a value that is incorrect under commercial or tax law is replaced by a correct valuation. It must be carried out if a balance sheet approach violates mandatory provisions of commercial and tax law or the GoB (Section 153 AO). In tax law, too, it does not depend on the approval of the tax office.

The Federal Fiscal Court assumes that a balance sheet approach cannot be wrong if the merchant uses his knowledge of the on Balance sheet date present facts dutifully and conscientiously used. Only the knowledge acquired up to the preparation of the balance sheet is to be taken into account.

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