International tax law and international tax management have to deal with the most diverse national tax law systems.
The point of departure in this context are the German tax law provisions according to which a taxpayer basically has to pay tax on his entire worldwide income in Germany – if his place of residence or habitual abode is in Germany.
This means that he always has to disclose all his income, even from other countries (so-called source country), in his German tax return.
However, the countries, where the respective income has been earned, obviously also have taxing rights they wish to exercise. No country enjoys seeing its tax basis reduced.
Therefore, many countries have closed so-called double taxation agreements. As the name already implies, these agreements are intended to avoid double taxation. They usually apply to taxes on income (income tax, corporate tax). However, some double taxation agreements also exist in the fields of inheritance tax and gift tax.
All double taxation agreements closed by Germany are published in the Federal Tax Gazette (Bundessteuerblatt; "BStBl.").
Learn more about German income taxation for individuals and business companies:
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Avoiding double taxation is generally achieved following the same principle: either by allocating the taxing right to one country or the other or else by one country recognizing the tax paid in the other country.
In many cases, the phrasing of the provisions is not easy to understand and complicated. There are numerous exceptions. For both, private individuals earning income in foreign countries (e.g. dividends or even wages) and companies set up internationally – or planning to do so – it is worth to have a closer look at the double taxation agreements.
We will be pleased to advise you in all questions regarding international taxation so that you can be sure you only pay the taxes you have to.
The Federal Republic of Germany has meanwhile entered into double taxation agreements and/or agreements on tax matters with more than 100 countries. The list of all agreements is available on the websites of the Federal Ministry of Finance.
Germany signed double taxation agreements with (for example):
Your expert on double taxation agreements with Germany is Attorney Stefan Winheller. Please do not hesitate to contact us by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by phone (+49 69 76 75 77 80) and we will be happy to schedule an appointment with you in order to discuss your questions and tax planning needs. We are looking forward to working with you.