What is an excise tax

Excise duty

The so-called special excise duties are indirect taxes. Excise taxes are levied on the consumption or use of individual goods specified by the legislator. The consumption tax has to be paid by the end consumer of a commodity and thus burdens the use of the consumer's income and assets. Unlike sales tax, for example, excise taxes are only levied on the actual consumption or use of certain goods.

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What types of excise tax are there?

The tax legislation in the Federal Republic of Germany knows a large number of indirect excise duties. Examples of uniform consumption taxes at the federal level are

  • Beer tax
  • Liquor tax
  • Coffee tax
  • Sparkling wine tax
  • Energy tax (formerly mineral oil tax)
  • Tobacco tax
  • Electricity tax

When is the time of the collection of the excise duty?

A consumption tax is always charged when the goods subject to excise duty are introduced into the economic cycle and used or consumed in the tax area of ​​the Federal Republic of Germany. Excise taxes regularly arise when goods are taken from a tax warehouse for consumption, when goods are imported from a third country and when goods from the tax-free circulation of other EU member states are imported into the tax area of ​​the Federal Republic of Germany.

Tax debtors for consumption tax are usually the registered recipient of the goods, the person who imports the goods into the tax area and the ultimate recipient of the goods. It is true that the tax burden of Consumption tax generally hit the consumerHowever, in order to simplify the tax administration, excise duties are usually levied at the retailer or at the manufacturer of the goods. Manufacturers and retailers then have the option of passing the taxes on to consumers via the price of the goods.

How to avoid double taxation on excise duty?

A consumption tax paid on goods in the tax area of ​​the Federal Republic of Germany can be reimbursed if these goods are transported to another EU member state. For example, if an importer imports whiskey from the United States, they will have to pay import sales tax and excise tax on that whiskey upon importation. If the whiskey is resold in another EU country, the importer can submit an application Reimbursement of excise tax so that the goods are not taxed twice.

Tax breaks for consumption taxes

The state grants under certain conditions Tax break for certain consumer goods. For example, if brandy is not used for the production of alcoholic beverages but for the production of medicines, the brandy is exempt from tax.

What criticism is there of the excise tax?

There is constant criticism of the collection of excise taxes. For example, the energy tax introduced a few years ago as a mineral oil tax double the tax burden for consumers. The mineral oil companies have to pay the energy tax on fuels to the state and pass this tax burden on to consumers via the price of the fuels. At the petrol stations, consumers then also have to pay sales tax, which in this case is also calculated for the amount of consumption tax included in the price. This creates a double tax burden for consumers. The same applies to practically all excise taxes.

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