War in ukraine: tax relief for support of war victims

On 24.2.2022 russia under its president putin invaded ukraine and brought destruction, death and displacement with its war. Around the world, states, people and companies are getting involved to help those harmed by war. The many refugees from ukraine experience personal and financial support from citizens and also from companies in germany and other countries. Likewise, a variety of assistance is provided to the people remaining in ukraine. The treasury intends to help supporters by offering various tax breaks. These apply to measures taken from 24. February 2022 to 31. December 2022 (BMF letter dated 17.3.2022, IV C 4-S 2223/19/10003). In the following we present the tax reliefs.

1. Simplified proof for donations

Donations in support of refugees and those left behind by the ukraine war are for the promotion of charitable purposes. Donations are deductible as special expenses, up to 20% of the total amount of income. Donations exceeding this maximum amount may be carried forward to the following year and taken into account there within the framework of the maximum amount. This donation carryforward is valid for an unlimited period of time (§ 10b para. 1 no. 1 estg).

Basically applies: without donation confirmation no tax reduction! Donations must therefore always be evidenced by a formal donation receipt in accordance with the officially prescribed model in order to obtain the desired tax deduction. But for donations in favor of refugees, the following applies in the period from 24.2. Until 31.12.2022 a simplified proof of donation.

In the case of donations in the event of a catastrophe, the cash deposit receipt or the booking confirmation of a bank is sufficient, z.B. Account statement, direct debit receipt or PC printout in the case of online banking. The amount of the donation does not matter.

The simplified proof is sufficient for donations made by 31.12.2022 can be paid into special accounts on the occasion of

  • Of a legal entity under public law (z.B. Churches),
  • In the case of a public service,
  • An officially recognized voluntary welfare association including its member organizations. Associations of independent charitable organizations:
    diakonisches werk of the protestant church in germany e.V.,
    german caritas association e.V.,
    german paritatischer wohlfahrtsverband e.V.,
    german red cross e.V.,
    arbeiterwohlfahrt – bundesverband e.V.,
    central welfare office of the jews in germany e.V.,
    german association for the blind and visually impaired e.V.,
    federation of the war blind of germany e.V.,
    association of german charitable foundations e.V.,
    association of war and military service victims, disabled persons and social pensioners e.V.
    Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft selbsthilfe von menschen mit behinderung und chronischer erkrankung und ihren angehorigen e (federal working group for self-help of people with disabilities and chronic illness and their families).V.
    Sozialverband vdk germany e.V.
    Arbeiter-samariter-bund deutschland e.V.

ATTENTION: the simplification regulation also already applies to donations that were paid into an ordinary account with the above-mentioned organizations before the establishment of a special account (§ 50 para. 2 no. 1 letter b estdv).

NOTE: the documents required for proof in each case must be presented by the donor at the request of the tax office and otherwise kept until the expiry of one year after notification of the tax assessment (§ 50 para. 8 estdv).

2. Fundraising by individuals

It often happens that non-tax-privileged fundraisers or committed citizens make donations on special occasions, z. B. Birthday, wedding, baptism, funeral, anniversary, instead of gifts ask for donations for the victims of the ukraine war. In this case, too, there is a deadline of 31.12.2022 a generous arrangement:

Donations are tax-deductible if the donation account is held as a trust account and the funds received are forwarded either to a recognized aid organization or to a domestic legal entity under public law (public offices of the federal government, federal states, cities and municipalities, churches) (section 50 para. 4 sentence 1 no. 1 estdv).

This is how it works: in his appeal, the fundraiser asks for donations to a trust account that he has set up. Upon completion of the fundraising campaign, it transfers the funds received to the account of a recognized aid organization or to a legal entity under public law. In this case, although the donor has not made his donation directly to the organization, since the fundraiser itself does not pursue any tax-privileged purposes. Nevertheless, there are two ways in which the donor can deduct his donation for tax purposes after all:

  • The private fundraiser puts the aid organization resp. The company has submitted a list of donations to the public corporation, including the names and addresses of the individual donors. Then the organization can use the list to issue appropriate donation receipts to the donors.
  • And here, too, even simplified proof of donations is possible: if the donations collected by 31.12.2022 are transferred to a special account of an officially recognized aid organization or a domestic legal entity under public law, the fundraiser may provide each donor with a copy of the account statement together with a list of donations (with the names of all donors and the amount of all donations), which the donors may then claim in their respective tax returns.

NOTE: the documents required for proof in each case must be submitted by the donor to the tax authority upon request and otherwise kept until the expiry of one year from the date of notification of the tax assessment (section 50 para. 8 estdv).

3. Fundraising campaigns by non-profit associations

Many sports, music, educational, allotment, traditional and other associations carry out fundraising campaigns for the victims of the ukraine war, although they do not promote any charitable purposes according to their statutes. Actually, such associations are not allowed to use funds for purposes outside the scope of their statutes, because this may jeopardize their non-profit status. But here the tax authorities are showing themselves to be accommodating and are allowing up to 31.12.2022 special rule:

For the non-profit status it is exceptionally harmless, if the organization uses the funds, which it received in the context of a special action for the support of the affected persons, without a corresponding change of its statutes directly for the specified purpose.

This means that nonprofits may accept donations to help those harmed by the war and issue donation receipts for them even if their charitable purposes are not charitable under their articles of incorporation. Sports, music or customs associations can thus also accept donations in cash or in kind with the express purpose of "victims of the ukraine war", although this does not correspond to their actual statutory purpose. However, the donations must then also be used accordingly. Thus, they may only benefit the aggrieved parties. The proof of need for help can be waived.

Alternatively, it is possible to make the donations either to a charitable organization pursuing charitable purposes or to a domestic legal entity under public law or. To forward the funds to a domestic public office, which then uses the funds for the benefit of the aggrieved parties.

TAX COUNCIL: the non-profit organization may issue donation receipts for the donations received as part of the special campaign for the benefit of war-affected persons (charitable purposes), but must expressly refer to the special campaign in the receipts.

4. Charitable associations' own donations

Non-profit associations may only use their financial resources for statutory purposes, otherwise they lose their non-profit status. But in the period from 24.2.2022 to 31.12.2022 there is a special regulation:

In addition to the use of donated funds (see point 3 above), it is also exceptionally harmless for the non-profit status of the association if it uses other available funds, which are not subject to any other binding effect, without changing the statutes to support the victims of the ukraine war.

The same applies to the provision of personnel and premises. In the case of material and financial assistance, it is sufficient if the economic need of the person receiving the assistance is shown to be credible. For aid up to a value of 5.EUR 000, the economic neediness of injured persons may be assumed (at least this was the regulation on the occasion of the flood disaster in july 2021, which can probably be applied analogously here; finmin NRW, decree of 23.7.2021).

Support payments outside the realization of charitable or benevolent purposes, z.B. Payments to companies or self-employed persons particularly affected by the loss event or to the corresponding relief funds of the municipalities shall not be tax-exempt in this respect.

Likewise, it is not detrimental to the non-profit status if the associations transfer existing financial resources to another non-profit organization pursuing charitable purposes or to a domestic legal entity under public law or to a public corporation. Forwarded to a domestic public service agency in order for them to use the funds to support the victims of the ukrainian war.

5. Support from the employer to affected employees

In the private sector, emergency benefits paid by employers to their employees of up to EUR 600 are exempt from tax and social security contributions if the support is justified in terms of the cause (R 3.11 abs. 2 lstr). This applies in the case of illness, accidents and emergencies as well as damage caused by floods, storms and fire. If the employer now supports his employees who have been injured by the war in ukraine, the following shall apply until 31 december 2009.12.2022 following benefit:

If the support is higher than EUR 600, the exceeding amount also remains tax and social security exempt if, taking into account the employee's income and family circumstances, a special emergency exists. In general, an employee can be considered to have a special emergency if he or she left ukraine in connection with the war events (BMF letter dated 7.6.2022, IV C 4-S 2223/19/10003;017).

Another regulation is currently suspended: the restrictive conditions for companies with more than five employees, as stipulated in R 3.11 para. 2 lstr are listed, need not be considered now.

TAX COUNCIL: in the public sector, assistance due to special emergencies is tax-exempt without any limit on the amount (§ 3 no. 11 estg). Provided that they are granted in accordance with federal and state aid regulations and paid from public coffers.

The employer can also support its employees financially by granting them interest-free loans or by paying them interest subsidies on loans. Such assistance is normally taxable as a non-cash benefit. But in the present disaster case there is an advantageous special provision:

Interest subsidies and interest benefits on loans taken out in direct connection with the war damage in ukraine are also exempt from tax and social security for the entire term of the loan (in accordance with R 3.11 abs. 2 lstr). The precondition is that the loan does not exceed the amount of damage.

Included in the above regulations are benefits from a first-time employment after the outbreak of war

  • Provision of use of a company motor vehicle to employees whose private motor vehicle is no longer available due to the events of war,
  • Transfer of use of dwelling or accommodation if the dwelling or accommodation previously occupied by the employee has become uninhabitable as a result of the acts of war,
  • Provision of free meals to employees, if the employee is unable to provide for himself, or
  • Transfer of use of other property if corresponding property of the employee is no longer available due to the events of war or the transfer serves to repair damage.

The benefit from the free or reduced-price transfer of used items for the purpose of furnishing the home or accommodation of an employee who left ukraine as a result of the war events is not to be included in the employee's wages.

The tax-exempt benefits must be recorded in the payroll account (§ 4 para. 2 no. 4 sentence 1 lstdv). It must also be documented that the employee receiving the benefit was harmed by the acts of war. The employee must provide the employer with the necessary information to substantiate the amount of the loss as well as the compensation received because of the loss or the. To provide the expected compensation or benefits to the special purpose operation. The aforementioned principles apply accordingly in the case of benefits to support the employee's dependents.

6. Donation of wage

Some employees waive parts of their salary or parts of an accumulated value credit balance

  • In favor of an allowance from the employer to injured employees of the company resp. Affiliated companies or employees of business partners or
  • In favor of a donation of the employer on a donation account of a recognized relief organization.

Such a salary waiver is not limited in amount and is also possible in addition to the special tax deduction for donations. In this case, the following regulation shall apply in the period until 31.12.2022 the following regulation shall apply:

There is no taxable salary in the amount of the salary waiver. Because the taxable gross salary has been reduced to this extent by the donation of wages, the employees can no longer claim this amount as a donation for tax purposes in their tax return.

The prerequisite is that the employer fulfills the condition of use – aid or donation – and documents it. The employer must record the partial amount in the payroll account. Recording can be waived if instead the employee has declared his waiver in writing and this declaration is taken to the payroll account. This part of the salary does not need to be declared by the employer in the income tax certificate (§ 41b para. 1 sentence 2 no. 3 estg). For the employer, this is a normal wage expense that is recorded as an operating expense and reduces his profit.

If the donated wages are also exempt from social security contributions? According to § 1 para. 1 no. According to section 11 svev, donated wage components, including credit balances, are only exempt from social insurance if they are made "for the benefit of persons injured by natural disasters in germany". This is probably not the case when it comes to helping refugees.

Special feature of salary donations by mini-jobbers

Taxation: in the case of donations of wages from mini-jobbers, a distinction is made according to whether the employer taxes the wages from the mini-job at a flat rate of 2 percent or according to the individual taxation characteristics.

  • In the case of taxation at a rate of 2 percent, the flat-rate tax must also be calculated from the donation of wages and paid to the minijobzentrale. In these cases, the tax exemption has no effect on payroll accounting, as the assessment of the lump-sum tax follows the regulations under social insurance law. In these cases, there are no changes in the payroll accounting compared to the previous procedure. The mini-jobber can claim the donation in his income tax return in the following year and thus receives the tax relief that corresponds to his total income.
  • If the employer does not calculate the tax from the mini-job as a lump sum, but – as with all other employees – according to the individual taxation characteristics, the tax exemption applies. In these cases, no income tax has to be calculated and paid on the donation of wages. The tax-exempt parts of the salary are thus not included in the income tax return – due to the reduction of the salary – and can therefore not be claimed again in the tax return.

Social security contributions: since the donation of wages is not exempt from social security contributions, the employer must pay the flat-rate contribution to pension and health insurance for it under sec. The same applies to the contributions to be paid by the employer.

7. Donations by self-employed persons and entrepreneurs

Some entrepreneurs act according to the motto "do good and talk about it" – and make generous and high-profile donations to the victims of the ukraine war. Thus besides naturally economic advantages are hoped for.

Such donations, or better sponsorship measures, are deductible as business expenses if the sponsor thereby seeks economic benefits for his company, which may lie in securing or enhancing his corporate reputation.

The expenses of the entrepreneur are to be assessed in accordance with the rules of the sponsoring decree of 18.2.1998 deductible as operating expenses. Accordingly, expenses of the sponsoring entrepreneur are business expenses if the sponsor seeks economic advantages for his company, which may lie in the securing or enhancement of his entrepreneurial reputation. These economic benefits are u. A. Achievable in that the sponsor has a publicity effect (z. B. Through coverage in newspapers, radio, television, etc.) to its services.

8. Temporary accommodation of war refugees

Temporary accommodation in facilities of tax-privileged corporations that exclusively serve the statutory purpose of the corporation (including special-purpose operations and asset management)

In the case of non-profit associations and organizations, so called. "Special-purpose enterprises" tax-privileged. This also includes facilities for the provision, catering and care of refugees (§ 68 no. 1 letter c AO).

If special tax regulations apply to the services provided by these institutions (e.G., tax deductions, etc.), the state is entitled to tax relief. B. Sales tax exemption according to § 4 no. 18, 23 resp. 24 ustg or sales tax reduction according to § 12 para. 2 no. 8 ustg), they are also applied to the services in connection with the temporary accommodation of war refugees from ukraine.

Temporary accommodation in facilities of legal entities under public law

Temporary accommodation against payment is to be assigned to the sovereign sector without examining whether a commercial operation of a legal entity under public law (bga) exists.

In the case of accommodation in facilities of a bga, the tax treatment is generally based on the general tax regulations. If it concerns a tax-privileged bga, the aforementioned remarks are to be considered.

The temporary use of business assets belonging to a bga for the benefit of the victims of the ukraine war does not lead to a profit-effective transfer to sovereign assets and thus not to the abandonment of the bga for reasons of equity. For the period until the accommodation facility is (re)used for its original purpose (e.G.B. As a sports hall), however, the income of the bga is to be assessed at zero to this extent. An actual loss compensation of the bga by the legal entity under public law for this period is not to be treated as an addition to the tax contribution account. Moreover, during the period of "zeroing out", no taxable event as defined in section 20 para. 1 no. 10b estg realized.

9. Sales tax equity measures

Tax-privileged entities

If charitable associations or organizations make personnel, premises, material resources or other services available in return for payment in areas that are necessary for dealing with the effects and consequences of the war in ukraine, it will not be objected if these activities are assigned to the special-purpose operation i for both income tax and sales tax purposes. S. D. Are assigned to § 65 of the german tax code (AO). This applies irrespective of the tax-privileged purpose pursued in accordance with the articles of association by the respective corporation which provides personnel, premises, material resources or other services.

Exemption from value added tax for the provision of material resources and rooms as well as personnel

The sales taxable transfers of material resources and rooms as well as personnel are taxable under the further conditions of § 4 no. 14, 16, 18, 23 and 25 ustg as closely related transactions are exempt from VAT if they take place between tax-privileged entities whose transactions are each exempt under the same provision.

No objections are raised to the fact that sales tax provisions (e.G.B. Sales tax exemption according to § 4 no. 18, 23, 24 resp. 25 ustg or sales tax reduction according to § 12 abs. 2 no. 8 ustg), which applies to comparable services provided by the respective institution to other recipients of services (e.G.B. If the taxation of the homeless is already applied, it may also be applied to services provided by this institution for the care and provision of war refugees, if remuneration for these services is paid from public funds or from other tax-privileged corporations.

Provision of objects or personnel free of charge

In the case of the gratuitous provision of goods and personnel for humanitarian purposes by companies to institutions that provide an indispensable service in dealing with the effects and consequences of the war in ukraine, such as in particular aid organizations, institutions for refugees and for the care of the wounded, as well as other public institutions, the taxation of a gratuitous transfer of value in equity is waived.

If an entrepreneur already intends to use the services exclusively and directly for the above-mentioned purposes when receiving the services, the corresponding input tax amounts are to be deducted under the other conditions of section 15 of the german turnover tax act (ustg) in an equitable manner, contrary to section 2 of the german turnover tax act (ustg). 15.15 paragraph 1 ustae to be taken into account. The following free gifts of value shall not be taxed in accordance with the preceding paragraph on an equitable basis.

Input tax deduction for change of use

In the case of changes in the use of premises of public-sector companies, the taxation of a gratuitous transfer of value pursuant to § 3 abs. 9a ustg and an input tax adjustment pursuant to § 15a ustg shall be waived if and to the extent that the facts of the case are based on a gratuitous use to deal with the effects and consequences of the war in ukraine. This provision is also applicable to input taxes from current costs.

The equity rule is to be applied mutatis mutandis to public-sector companies operated under private legal form.

Free transfer of living space

The taxation of a free transfer of value and an input tax correction in accordance with § 15a ustg is also waived in equity if private companies use accommodations that were intended for use subject to sales tax (hotel rooms, vacation apartments o. a.), free of charge to persons who have fled because of the war in ukraine. If these entrepreneurs already intend to pay for ancillary services (electricity, water o.a.) a corresponding gratuitous accommodation, a corresponding input tax deduction is granted by way of exception under the above-mentioned conditions and the further conditions of § 15 ustg additionally in the equity way. The following free transfer of value is not taxed in equity according to the previous paragraph.

10. Gift tax

If the donations are gifts for tax-privileged purposes pursuant to §§ 51 et seqq. Of the german income tax act (ustg), the input tax must be deducted. AO, tax exemptions may be granted in accordance with section 13 of the inheritance tax act (erbstg) if the relevant conditions are met. This includes. A. Donations to the entities defined in § 13 para. 1 no. 16 inheritance tax act named religious societies, jewish religious communities, corporations, associations of persons and estates.

  • Also included are donations which are exclusively dedicated to ecclesiastical, charitable or benevolent purposes, provided that their use for this purpose is assured (§ 13 para. 1 no. 17 inheritance tax act).
  • Under these conditions, gifts made directly to persons in need of assistance are also exempt from gift tax under § 13 para. 1 no. 17 inheritance tax act exempt. In the case of gifts that are exempt from tax until 31.12.2022 according to § 13 para. 1 no. 17 inheritance tax act are made directly to aggrieved parties, the earmarking and securing of the purpose must be assumed.

11. Direct support of an injured party

Unfortunately, anyone who provides direct assistance to a victim of the ukraine war cannot deduct the amount as a donation for tax purposes. Indeed, to qualify for the charitable contribution deduction, the recipient must be a legal entity under public law, a domestic public service agency, or a nonprofit organization. The statutory provisions do not permit any exception to this rule – even in the event of a catastrophe.

Donations made on condition that they are passed on to a specific natural person are not tax-deductible (R 10b.1 para. 1 sentence 2 estr). However, it is harmless if the donations to a public corporation are accompanied by a request for special use or a proposal for use.

Donations made directly to an unrelated person may be subject to gift tax: A gift to non-related persons remains taxable up to an amount of 20.000 EUR free of gift tax. In addition, the donation of household goods, linen and clothing remains tax deductible up to a value of 12.EUR 000 tax-exempt (§ 13 no. 1c inheritance tax act).

However, donations are exempt from gift tax if they are dedicated to charitable purposes and the use for this purpose is assured. This is the case with the support of war refugees (§ 13 para. 1 no. 17 inheritance tax act).

TAX COUNCIL: the finmin. Hesse clarifies in connection with the severe weather catastrophe in 2021: "under these conditions, donations made directly to persons in need of assistance in connection with the severe weather events in june and july 2021 are also exempt from gift tax pursuant to § 13 para. 1 no. 17 inheritance tax act exempt. In the case of such benefits, which have been received by 31.3.2022 are paid directly to injured parties to remedy the damage incurred, the purpose and the purpose protection is to be assumed" (finmin. From 27.7.2021, S1915 A-026-ii1a/7).

12. Admission of persons from ukraine

Some people take in war refugees into their own households at the request and mediation of the church, the community or a charitable organization and grant them room and board. For the cost of meals, lodging, travel, clothing, medicines, etc. The organization can issue a donation receipt to the helper, which at least helps him/her to get a tax refund.

Tax-privileged are not only cash and non-cash benefits, but also other benefits of monetary value, through which the beneficiary organization, e.G., a charitable organization, can benefit.B. Church, municipality or charitable associations, expenses are saved. Such expenses, which you bear in connection with the reception of the needy people and thus save the organization expenses, are to be considered as so-called. Expense donation deductible (§ 10b para. 3 sentence 5-6 estg).

These are the requirements for the deduction of expense donations:

  • You have a right to reimbursement of expenses.
  • This right to reimbursement is regulated in a legally binding manner by contract, articles of association or board resolution.
  • The claim for reimbursement may not be granted under the condition of waiver.
  • They waive reimbursement.

Your time expenditure is not tax-deductible as a donation, but the property expenditure incurred in the process is:

  • A lump-sum expense allowance for room and board can be recognized as a donation. For this purpose, the values of the social security remuneration ordinance shall be deemed appropriate.
    (accommodation 2022: EUR 241 per month, to be reduced by 15 % for inclusion in the household and for young people under 18; meals: EUR 9 per day)
  • For other expenses, z.B. For clothing or medicines, you must provide the charitable organization with detailed proof of the costs incurred.

These are the values for accommodation and meals (per day)

For children under 18

*) 241 EUR ./. 15 % = 204.85 EUR : 30 days = 6.83 EUR + 9 EUR = 15.83 EUR.

Expense allowance for hosting refugees

Some counties provide compensation for housing ukrainian refugees in private apartments. The question is whether such payments result in taxable income.

The federal and state governments have agreed on 6.4.2022 agreed that the payment of an expense allowance for hosting refugees from ukraine in a private apartment does not result in income relevant for income tax purposes. The decision will initially apply only to the year 2022 (finmin. Thuringia from 7.4.2022).

Those who provide private housing must also pay consumption-based costs for it, such as electricity, water, sewage and energy costs. A lump-sum expense allowance cushions these costs. It is now important to help the refugees quickly and without complications. Helpers must not be placed in the way of additional hurdles. Provided, however, that the lump sum shall not exceed the average cost of accommodation according to a calculation made by the competent authority.

13. Maintenance to war refugees

German citizens can take in foreigners – which a great many people have done in recent years. But then they must make a commitment to the immigration authorities to pay the alien's living expenses, u.A. Airline tickets, visa, rent, maintenance. This means that they must "reimburse all public funds spent on the foreigner's subsistence, including the provision of housing as well as care in the event of illness and need for care, even if the expenses are based on a legal entitlement of the foreigner" (declaration of obligation pursuant to section 68 of the residence act). For example, many citizens have taken on sponsorships, especially for syrian war refugees – particularly in the context of family reunification – and have entered into guarantees to cover their costs in germany. And there has also been war in ukraine since 2014 – even more so since 24.2.2022. Declarations of commitment in accordance with section 68 of the residence act have also been and are being issued for these war refugees. The question is whether the costs thus incurred can be deducted from taxable income.

  • In 2015, the federal ministry of finance announced that retroactively from 1.1.2013 expenses for the maintenance of persons with a "residence permit pursuant to section 23 residence act" tax-reducing as extraordinary burdens of a special nature pursuant to33a para. 1 estg – without offsetting a reasonable burden, but limited to the maximum amount of maintenance – are deductible. The statutory obligation to pay maintenance was not relevant in this case. The prerequisite, however, is that the supporter has submitted a declaration of commitment in accordance with section 68 of the residence act (aufenthg) and assumes all costs for the maintenance of the person. If the person being supported is included in the supporter's household, it can be assumed that maintenance expenses in the amount of the relevant maximum maintenance amount are incurred for this purpose (BMF letter of 27.5.2015, bstbl. 2015 I S. 474).
  • In 2019, the cologne fiscal court ruled that expenses for the maintenance of the sister and her family from the war-torn ukraine, for which the taxpayer had submitted a declaration of obligation under section 68 of the residence act, are deductible as extraordinary burdens of a general nature under section 33 of the income tax act – with offsetting of a reasonable burden, but without limitation to a maximum amount (FG koln dated 9.4.2019, 15 K 2965/16).

CURRENTLY, the federal fiscal court has overturned the gratifying ruling of the cologne regional tax court and decided to the disadvantage of helpful taxpayers that expenses for dependents who are not entitled to support are not deductible as extraordinary expenses either under section 33a of the income tax act or under section 33 of the income tax act. This also applies if the supporter has submitted a declaration of commitment in accordance with section 68 of the residence act, according to which he or she will assume the costs of living for his or her relatives (BFH ruling of 2.12.2021, VI R 40/19).

  • The case: a german citizen takes her sister with husband and daughter from ukraine into her household in 2014. It provides them with living space and assumes the expenses for food, insurance, lawyer (because of residence permit) and language course, as well as the costs for health insurance. The admitted persons receive the status "suspension of deportation" (= duldung). In the tax return, she claims an amount of EUR 15 800 as an extraordinary burden. The tax office does not take the costs into account according to § 33a estg, because there is no legal obligation to pay maintenance. On the other hand, the tax court recognizes the maintenance costs in the amount of EUR 5,000 as extraordinary burdens of a general nature under section 33 estg because the expenses were necessarily incurred for moral reasons.
  • The federal fiscal court rejects the tax consideration completely. A deduction according to § 33a estg is excluded, because the sister with husband and child do not belong to the dependent relatives. A declaration of obligation in accordance with section 68 of the residence act does not establish a legal (civil law) claim to maintenance for the aforementioned persons, because it does not establish any direct claims of the foreigner against the obligated person. Also the aforementioned BMF letter of 27.5.2015 is not relevant, because this refers to persons with a "residence permit according to § 23 residence act". A deduction according to § 33 estg is also not possible, even if a moral obligation can be assumed. Because according to § 33a para. 4 estg, a deduction according to § 33 estg is excluded.

CONCLUSION: with regard to the recognition of maintenance expenses, the judges thus differentiate according to whether the maintenance recipient has a residence permit in accordance with section 23 of the residence act (= deductible in accordance with section 33a of the income tax act) or merely lives here on the basis of a toleration in accordance with section 60a of the residence act or a schengen visa (= not deductible).

On the declaration of commitment pursuant to § 68 aufenthg

The commitment to reimburse public funds was valid for an unlimited period until july 2016, so the guarantors took incredibly high financial risks. With the integration act of 31.7.In 2016, from 6.8.In 2016, the duration of the obligation to pay contributions was limited to five years. A goodwill provision was introduced for old cases: if the declaration of obligation was made before 6.8.2016, it expired already three years after the foreigner's entry. At the same time, however, the integration act legally stipulates that a declaration of commitment does not expire if the foreigner is granted a residence title in germany on international, humanitarian or political grounds. This means: recognition as a refugee, asylum status or subsidiary protection should not lead to the lapse of liability. A declaration of commitment thus generally does not end before five years have elapsed.

On the residence permit in accordance with § 23 aufenthg

Foreigners can obtain a residence or settlement permit in germany according to § 23 residence act. According to this provision, the supreme state authority or. The federal ministry of the interior for reasons of international law or humanitarian reasons or in order to safeguard the political interests of the federal republic of germany, that foreigners from certain states or otherwise certain groups of foreigners be granted a residence or settlement permit. The administrative order expresses in a special way that the person concerned is in an extraordinary emergency situation.

The provision of section 23 of the residence act primarily affects civil war refugees, but also long-term tolerated persons and relatives of jewish refugees with a settlement permit. The issuance of the residence permit can be made dependent on the submission of a declaration of commitment in accordance with section 68 of the residence act, z.B. By relatives or well-meaning people in germany. This means that these persons undertake to bear the costs of living for the foreigner. Such a declaration of commitment may only be made by those who provide a net income per refugee of 2.Can prove 160 EUR. But this condition of the immigration authorities is an imposition, because they impose an unmanageable risk on the signatory: he is liable for rent and living expenses, with the exception of costs for acute basic care in case of illness or emergency.

14. Part-time care and integration of refugees

For secondary activities as an exercise leader, instructor, educator, caregiver, nurse and artist, remuneration in the amount of the sog. Practice leader allowance of 3.EUR 000 tax- and social security-free (§ 3 no. 26 estg). This requires that the activity is carried out on a part-time basis, is performed for a non-profit organization or a legal entity under public law and serves non-profit, charitable or ecclesiastical purposes. The question is whether the part-time activity in the care and integration of refugees is also favored.

The federal ministry of finance, represented by the parliamentary state secretary, stated in 2015 that the exercise leader allowance (now 3.000 EUR) according to § 3 no. 26 estg can also be claimed for the part-time employment to support and integrate refugees. This requires that the activity consists in the care of refugees or in an activity as an exercise instructor, trainer, educator or a comparable activity. Furthermore, artistic activities or the care of old, sick or disabled people are also eligible (BT-drucksache 18/6997 dated 11 march 2009).12.2015, question 60).

If the activity is not permitted under § 3 no. 26 estg, the honorary office allowance in the amount of EUR 840 pursuant to § 3 no. 26a estg is granted. The prerequisite for both the exercise leader allowance and the voluntary work allowance is that the activity is carried out in the service or on behalf of a legal entity under public law or a charitable organization for the promotion of charitable, benevolent or church purposes.

Residential sponsorships for young adults who have fled the country

In recent years, various initiatives have been formed, which call for so called "income tax". Taking on residential sponsorships for young adults who have fled their homes. The residential sponsors provide either a room with kitchen and bathroom use or a flat/apartment in their domestic environment. They are supposed to be the contact person for all concerns of the young adult and to support him in his integration. The question arose as to whether the remuneration for this part-time activity is subject to the practice leader allowance of 3.000 EUR (§ 3 no. 26 estg) can be claimed, so that the corresponding remuneration remains tax and social security free.

Insofar as remuneration is paid for the support and integration service, this belongs to the beneficiary support services. This does not apply to the remuneration granted for the provision of living space (bavarian state office for taxes of 19.9.2019, S 2121.2.1-29/25 st36).

TAX COUNCIL: fees therefore remain tax- and contribution-free, but certain reimbursement of expenses is not. Whether there is then income from renting and leasing in the second case, against which income-related expenses can be offset, is another matter. The baden-wurttemberg fiscal court has ruled that a self-employed childminder cannot claim expenses for her own home, in which she looks after several children, as business expenses on a pro rata basis (FG baden-wurttemberg of 7.5.2019, 8 K 751/17). Whether this is to be upheld if a locked apartment or an apartment is provided can certainly be doubted. The prerequisite is, of course, always an intention to earn income.

15. Volunteer allowance for refugees

In the asylum seekers' benefits act, as in the case of basic benefits under SGB II and social assistance under SGB XII, the principle applies that disposable income must be used as a priority before social benefits can be claimed. Eligible income also includes tax-free allowances for voluntary or part-time activities. These are thus – after deduction of certain deductible amounts – to the basic benefits according to §§ 3 ff. Asylblg to be credited.

For asylum seekers, however, taking up volunteer work while still receiving basic benefits seems reasonable. Volunteering – for example as an exercise instructor in a sports club – promotes language acquisition and the establishment of personal contacts and can thus represent an important first step towards successful and sustainable integration. Because taking up voluntary work can be an important step towards integration for asylum seekers, an incentive is to be provided for taking up such work.

For certain honorary sideline activities, expense allowances are paid that are exempt from tax and social security contributions to a certain extent. This concerns the exercise leader allowance and the caregiver allowance of 3.000 EUR (§ 3 no. 26 and 26b estg), the honorary office allowance of EUR 840 (§ 3 no. 26a estg) as well as the allowance in the public sector of 3.000 EUR (§ 3 no. 12 estg).

In the case of recipients of unemployment benefit II or social assistance, expense allowances in this amount remain free of charge when determining income, d.H. They will not be counted as income (§ 11b para. 2 sentence 3 SGB II and § 82 para. 2 sentence 2 SGB XII).

Since the 1.9.In 2019, there is the new honorary allowance for refugees during the first 15 months: now remain emoluments or income from voluntary work, which under § § 3 no. 12, 26, 26a, 26b estg are tax-exempt, up to 250 EUR per month in the determination of income free of charge (§ 7 para. 3 sentence 2 asylum seekers' benefits act).

  • Expenses for contributions and necessary expenses incurred by the beneficiary in connection with the exercise of the respective honorary or avocational activity are generally compensated with the allowance. In the case of a tax-privileged income above 250 EUR per month, corresponding expenses cannot be taken into account in addition to the tax-free allowance. A separate deduction of corresponding expenses can therefore only be considered if these exceed the allowance of 250 EUR per month and the beneficiary proves this (§ 7 para. 3 sentence 4 asylblg).
  • If persons entitled to benefits under the asylblg engage in voluntary work during their asylum procedure (z.B. In associations) and receive a flat-rate honorary allowance for this, they should be able to keep up to 250 EUR per month of this in future, free of charge, in addition to their benefits under the asylum seekers' benefits act. After expiration of the waiting period (first 15 months), asylum seekers are subject to the regulations of social assistance according to § 82 paragraph 2 sentence 2 SGB XII, d.H. Even then, up to 250 EUR per month remain free of charge.

16. Employer benefits for german courses for refugees

Knowledge of the german language is part of the general education of people living in germany. This also applies to people who have moved to germany from abroad or arrived as refugees. The language skills acquired in german courses ensure the social integration of the newcomers also in their private everyday life and enable them to communicate successfully in the closer private environment. Attending german courses thus makes it considerably easier for refugees to lead their lives in germany. The private use of the german language skills is of such importance that the expenses for german language courses as a whole are to be attributed to private living (z.B. BFH ruling of 15.3.2007, VI R 14/04, bstbl. 2007 II S. 814).

This applies even if the expenses are incurred in furtherance of the taxpayer's profession or (professional) activity (§ 12 no. 1 sentence 2 estg). It is not possible to separate the expenses into a professional and a private part due to the lack of objectifiable criteria for such a division (FG nuremberg from 23.4.2015, 6 K 1542/14). Consequently, under the current law, the financing of german courses by the employer results in a pecuniary benefit for the refugee employed by him, which is fully taxable as remuneration for work.

The federal ministry of finance states that employer benefits for german courses for the professional integration of refugees are to be assigned to the very predominantly operational interest of the employer and therefore remain tax-free for the employee (BMF letter dated 4.7.2017, bstbl. 2017 I S. 882).

Professional training or continuing education services provided by the employer do not lead to wages if these educational measures are carried out in the very predominant operational interest of the employer (R 19.7 lstr).

  • In the case of refugees and other employees whose native language is not german, educational measures for the acquisition or improvement of the german language are to be assigned to the quite predominant operational interest of the employer if the employer requires the language skills in the field of activity intended for the employee.
  • In the case of such training measures, wages can only exist if there are concrete indications of the reward character of the measure.

In addition, the federal ministry of finance points out that, outside of employer subsidies, employees with a migration background can take advantage of free job-related german courses from the standard federal subsidy program. Prerequisite for participation is existing language skills at level B1(CEFR) or a completed integration course. Further information and contacts for employers can be found at the federal office for migration and refugees (BAMF):

17. Provision of housing to war refugees from ukraine

This concerns the accommodation of war refugees by rental cooperatives and rental associations within the meaning of sec. 5 para. 1 no. 10 kstg. Such cooperatives as well as associations are exempt from corporate income tax "insofar as they manufacture or acquire dwellings and provide them to members for use on the basis of a rental agreement or on the basis of a cooperative use agreement. The tax exemption is excluded if the company's income from other activities exceeds 10 percent of the total income."

If the cooperatives and rental associations accommodate war refugees from ukraine, the following applies (BMF letter dated 31.3.2022, IV C 2 -S 1900/22/10045:001):

In the case of leasing cooperatives and leasing associations, for reasons of equity, the following tax rates remain unchanged until 31 december 2009. December 2022 income from the provision of housing to war refugees from ukraine, who are not members of the rental cooperative or. Of the rental association, when calculating the 10 percent limit i. S. D. § 5 abs. 1 no. 10 sentence 2 kstg not taken into account. This income is not taken into account when determining the total income of the leasing cooperative or. Of the rental association, nor the determination of income from activities not included in § 5 para. 1 no. 10 sentence 1 kstg activities to be taken into account.

18. Accommodation of war refugees from ukraine

The german housing industry has declared its willingness to provide support services for refugees fleeing the war in ukraine. The commitment of the housing companies will regularly take the form of the provision of furnished apartments, but also other support services.

With regard to trade tax, there are now equity measures in the application of the extended reduction pursuant to § 9 no. 1 sentence 2 ff. Gewstg (coordinated state decree of 31.3.2022):

  • Income from the management and use of the company's own real estate is subject to the extended reduction pursuant to sec. 9 no. 1 sentence 2 gewstg. The question of whether the provision of furnished accommodation to war refugees from ukraine for a consideration constitutes a commercial activity will be decided on grounds of equity for income up to 31 december 2009. December 2022 not audited.
  • Income from other support services – such as the provision of food, hygiene articles or clothing in return for payment – is only harmless for claiming the extended reduction if the income results from direct contractual relationships with the tenants of the real estate and this income in the fiscal year does not exceed 5 percent of the income from the transfer of use of the entire real estate (§ 9 no. 1 sentence 3 book. C gewstg).
  • Letting property companies housing z. B. To legal entities under public law that provide the rented housing to war refugees from ukraine, these housing users are considered (indirect) tenants of the real estate company for equity reasons in 2022 i. S. D. § 9 nr. 1 sentence 3 letter c gewstg.

19. Non-objection decree for account opening by war refugees

Financial institutions must always obtain a self-disclosure when opening an account (§ 6 para. 1 fkaustg). In principle, the tax identification number must also be stated here to establish residency (section 13 para. 2 and 3 fkaustg). If it is not possible to obtain a self-disclosure, this can only be deviated from if the financial institution can prove that obtaining the self-disclosure is impossible for legal or factual reasons (§ 13 para. 2a fkaustg). This is the case in the case of the war in ukraine.

In this case, the self-disclosure would have to be made up within 90 days (§ 13 para. 2a sentence 4 fkaustg). However, fledged individuals may actually be unable to complete their self-disclosure beyond the 90-day period. In this case, the lack of provision in this exceptional situation should not be to the detriment of the fledged persons. The tax authorities therefore clarify that the failure of persons who have fled ukraine to provide a self-declaration is therefore not objectionable for the time being and until further notice (bundeszentralamt fur steuern dated 31 december 2009).3.2022).

20. Relief amount in the case of admission of refugees by single parents

Single parents are entitled to the tax relief amount of 4.008 EUR respectively. To wage tax class II if your household includes at least one child for whom you receive child benefit or the child allowance, and otherwise there is no other adult living in the household (§ 24b estg).

If a single parent now takes a refugee of full age into his or her household, according to the wording of the law, the entitlement to the relief amount and to income tax class II would cease as of the following month.

CURRENTLY, the tax authorities have stated that, for reasons of equity, the accommodation of refugees of full age from ukraine by single parents in 2022 will not lead to a tax-damaging household community and thus the entitlement to the relief amount will continue to exist (OFD north rhine-westphalia from 19.4.2022, short info 06/2022).

21. Employment of refugees from ukraine

Refugees from ukraine find protection in germany and can receive a so-called humanitarian residence title on the basis of the EU mass influx directive unbureaucratically and without individual case examination. Anyone who wants to work here also needs a work permit.

Residency status

The humanitarian residence title under § 24 residence act, which grants temporary protection to war refugees in the EU, must be applied for at the immigration authorities. The federal ministry of the interior has also published a regulation on the exemption from the requirement of a residence title (ukraine residence transitional regulation). Accordingly, the persons named therein do not initially require a residence permit, the exemption is currently valid until 31. August 2022. However, the application for a residence permit can be made in. A residence permit is required especially for taking up employment. Until the final issuance of the residence title, so-called fictitious certificates are issued.

Work permit

With the certificate of fiction resp. Later on the residence permit, the refugees from ukraine also get the permission to work by adding the entry "gainful employment allowed" to these documents. This means that working in germany is possible without any restrictions. Ukrainian refugees can start work immediately upon receiving work permit.

No special requirements for employment

For refugees from ukraine, the general regulations of the german social security system apply, as well as the minimum wage regulations and the other entitlements under labor law. Thus, there are no peculiarities in the declarations and calculation of contributions and apportionments to social insurance.