Legal forms in tax law

Die Rechtsform ist der gesellschaftsrechtliche Mantel einer Unternehmung. Die Wahl der Rechtsform ist eine konstitutive betriebswirtschaftliche Entscheidung. Rechtsformen lassen sich in den folgenden Gruppen zusammenfassen: Personenunternehmen (Personengesellschaften), Kapitalgesellschaften, Mischformen und sonstige Rechtsformen.
The partnerships appear as sole proprietorships, civil law companies (GbR), open trading companies (OHG), limited partnerships (KG), European economic interest group (EWIV) and partnership companies (PartG). In the case of corporations, a distinction is made between limited liability companies (GmbH), stock corporations (AG) and limited partnerships on shares (KGaA) as well as the European company.

The best-known hybrid forms between partnerships and corporations are the GmbH & Co. KG and the split-up of companies. The other legal forms include, above all, the trade and business cooperatives, business associations, mutual insurance associations (VvaG) as well as institutions and foundations under public and private law and the owned and managed companies of public corporations. The taxation of a company is fundamentally linked to the legal form.

Die Wahl der Rechtsform hat direkte Auswirkungen auf die Höhe der Steuerbelastung. Es besteht keine steuerliche Rechtsformneutralität. Ertragsteuerlich sind nicht die Personengesellschaften, sondern nur ihre Gesellschafter Adressaten der Besteuerung. Dagegen sind Kapitalgesellschaften als legal person selbständige Steuerrechtssubjekte.

In general, the partnership is considered to be the more tax-advantageous legal form. Statements about the advantageousness of a legal form always need to be checked on a case-by-case basis after an internal tax burden comparison has been carried out.

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