Tax provisions in the Basic Law

The Basic Law is the constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany. It is relevant to the area of taxation, since the fundamental principles of national taxation must be in accordance with the fundamental rights of the constitution. The concept of taxes and duties is not defined in the Basic Law, but taken from Section 3 of the Tax Code.

The principles of taxation are also derived from the catalog of fundamental rights. Section X of the Basic Law deals with finance. It defines the legislative competencies, the principles of distribution of tax revenue, financial equalization, financial administration and the basic principles of budget law for the federal, state and, if applicable, municipalities. The federal government has exclusive legislative competence for customs duties and financial monopolies (Art. 105 I GG).
Für die übrigen Steuern steht dem Bund die konkurrierende Gesetzgebungskompetenz zu, sofern ihm das Aufkommen der Steuern ganz oder teilweise zusteht (Art. 105 II GG). Bundessteuern sind: Zölle, Verbrauchsteuern, soweit sie nicht Ländern oder Gemeinden zustehen, Ergänzungsabgaben zur Einkommen- und Körperschaftsteuer, Abgaben im Rahmen der Europäischen Union. An die Länder geht das Aufkommen folgender Steuern: Inheritance tax, Kraftfahrzeugsteuer, Beer tax, Abgaben von Spielbanken und die Verkehrsteuern, soweit sie nicht dem Bund zustehen.

The main tax types of income tax, corporation tax and sales tax are community taxes; the federal, state and possibly municipalities are jointly entitled to the revenue (Art. 106 GG). Financial equalization takes place between the federal government and the states as well as among the states themselves (Art. 107 GG). The administrative sovereignty of the individual taxes results from Art. 108 GG, which also assigns the tasks to the financial administration.

The main features of budget law are set out in Articles 109-115 of the Basic Law. The jurisprudence of the Federal Constitutional Court and the Federal Fiscal Court is governed by the IX. Section of the Basic Law is constitutionally justified.

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