According to § 1030 I BGB, usufruct is a secured, addressee-related right of use (assignment) to a thing (e.g. property) with an owner-like function. The so-called usufruct decree of the Federal Ministry of Finance of July 24, 1998 deals with the treatment of income tax law (BStBI. I 1998, p. 914).
A distinction must be made between the paid, partially paid and unpaid usufruct, the conditional and legacy usufruct, the real rights of residence and mandatory rights of use. The tax law problem of usufruct concerns primarily the income tax attribution problem, generally the consequences of the beneficial owner i. S. v. Section 39 AO. The focus is on the provision of economic use of assets.

In the case of family members, the usufruct is often a substitute for maintenance expenses that cannot be taken into account for tax purposes. With the tax allocation of inflows and outflows including depreciation, it depends on who realizes the fact of the income generation, the usufruct buyer or the usufructuary.

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