The Fiscal Code of Germany

Last Updated on May 31, 2021 by LawEuro

Full citation: Fiscal Code of Germany in the version promulgated on 1 October 2002 (Federal Law Gazette [Bundesgesetzblatt] I p. 3866; 2003 I p. 61), last amended by Article 17 of the Act of 17 July 2017 (Federal Law Gazette I p. 2541)

First Part
Introductory regulations
First Chapter
Scope of application

Section 1 Scope
Section 2 Primacy of international agreements
Section 2a Scope of provisions on the processing of personal data

Second Chapter
Tax definitions

Section 3 Taxes, ancillary tax payments
Section 4 Law
Section 5 Discretion
Section 6 Authorities, public and non-public entities, revenue authorities
Section 7 Public officials
Section 8 Residence
Section 9 Habitual abode
Section 10 Business management
Section 11 Registered office
Section 12 Permanent establishment
Section 13 Permanent representative
Section 14 Economic activity
Section 15 Relatives

Third Chapter
Competence of the revenue authorities

Section 16 Subject-matter jurisdiction
Section 17 Local jurisdiction
Section 18 Separate determination
Section 19 Taxes on the income and capital of natural persons
Section 20 Taxes on the income and capital of corporations, associations and pools of assets
Section 20a Taxes on income in the case of construction services
Section 21 Valued-added tax
Section 22 Non-personal taxes
Section 22a Jurisdiction on the continental shelf and in the exclusive economic zone
Section 23 Import and export duties, excise duties
Section 24 Surrogate competence
Section 25 Multiple local jurisdiction
Section 26 Transfer of jurisdiction
Section 27 Agreed jurisdiction
Section 28 Disputed jurisdiction
Section 29 Imminent danger
Section 29a Assistance for tax offices with local jurisdiction as ordered by superior revenue authorities
Section 29b The processing of personal data by revenue authorities
Section 29c The processing of personal data for other purposes by revenue authorities

Fourth Chapter
Tax secrecy

Section 30 Tax secrecy
Section 30a (rescinded)
Section 31 Disclosure of tax bases
Section 31a Disclosure for the purpose of countering unlawful employment and the misappropriation of benefits
Section 31b Disclosure for the purposes of countering money laundering and terrorist financing
Section 31c The processing of special categories of personal data for statistical purposes by revenue authorities

Fifth Chapter
Limited liability of public officials

Section 32 Limited liability of public officials
Section 32a Revenue authorities’ obligation to provide information where data are collected from the data subject
Section 32b Revenue authorities’ obligation to provide information where personal data have not been obtained from the data subject
Section 32c Right of access by the data subject
Section 32d Form of information or access
Section 32e Relation to other access and information rights
Section 32f Right to rectification and erasure, right to object
Section 32g Data protection officers for revenue authorities
Section 32h Data protection supervision, data protection impact assessments
Section 32i Judicial protection
Section 32j Request for court judgement in cases where an adequacy decision by the European Commission is presumed to be contrary to law

Second Part
Legal provisions on tax liability
First Chapter

Section 33 Taxpayer
Section 34 Obligations of legal representatives and asset managers
Section 35 Obligations of persons with powers of disposal
Section 36 Termination of the authority to represent

Second Chapter
Tax debtor-creditor relationship

Section 37 Claims arising from the tax debtor-creditor relationship
Section 38 Arising of claims from the tax debtor-creditor relationship
Section 39 Attribution
Section 40 Actions contrary to law or public policy
Section 41 Invalid legal transactions
Section 42 Abuse of tax planning schemes
Section 43 Tax debtor, creditor of a tax rebate
Section 44 Joint and several debtors
Section 45 Universal succession
Section 46 Cession, pledging, seizure
Section 47 Expiration
Section 48 Payment by third parties, liability of third parties
Section 49 Missing persons
Section 50 Expiration and unconditionality of excise duty, transfer of the conditional excise duty debt

Third Chapter
Tax-privileged purposes

Section 51 General
Section 52 Public-benefit purposes
Section 53 Charitable purposes
Section 54 Religious purposes
Section 55 Altruistic activity
Section 56 Exclusivity
Section 57 Directness
Section 58 Activities having no detrimental effect on tax privilege
Section 59 Preconditions for tax privileges
Section 60 Requirements to be met by the statutes
Section 60a Determination of compliance with statute-related preconditions
Section 61 Dedication of assets in the statutes
Section 62 Reserves and asset accumulation
Section 63 Requirements to be met by actual management activity
Section 64 Taxable economic activities
Section 65 Dedicated activity
Section 66 Welfare
Section 67 Hospitals
Section 67a Sporting events
Section 68 Specific dedicated activities

Fourth Chapter

Section 69 Liability of the representative
Section 70 Liability of the person represented
Section 71 Liability of tax evaders and persons receiving, holding or selling goods obtained by tax evasion
Section 72 Liability for breaches of the obligation on the authenticity of accounts
Section 72a Third-party liability in connection with the transmission of data to revenue authorities
Section 73 Liability in the case of fiscal unity
Section 74 Liability of the owner of objects
Section 75 Liability of the acquirer of a business
Section 76 Liability in rem
Section 77 Obligation to tolerate

Third Part
General rules of procedure
First Chapter
Procedural principles
1st Subchapter
Participation in the proceedings

Section 78 Participants
Section 79 Capacity to act
Section 80 Authorised representatives and advisers
Section 80a Electronic transmission to Land revenue authorities of data contained in authorisations granting powers of representation
Section 81 Official appointment of a representative

2nd Subchapter
Exclusion and rejection of public officials and other persons

Section 82 Persons excluded
Section 83 Fear of bias
Section 84 Rejection of members of a committee

3rd Subchapter
Taxation principles, evidence
I. General

Section 85 Taxation principles
Section 86 Commencement of proceedings
Section 87 Official language
Section 87a Electronic communication
Section 87b Conditions for transmitting data to revenue authorities via electronic means
Section 87c Use of unofficial data processing programmes in taxation procedures
Section 87d Third-party transmission of data to revenue authorities
Section 87e Exceptions for import and export duties, excise duties and aviation tax
Section 88 Principle of investigation
Section 88a Collection of protected data
Section 88b Nationwide retrieval and use of data to prevent, investigate and prosecute understatements of tax
Section 89 Advice, information
Section 90 Obligation of participants to cooperate
Section 91 Participant consultation
Section 92 Evidence

II. Evidence through information and expert opinion

Section 93 Obligation of the participants and other persons to provide information
Section 93a General obligation to disclose information
Section 93b Automated retrieval of account information
Section 93c Transmission of data by third parties
Section 93d Authorisation to issue ordinances
Section 94 Examination under oath
Section 95 Sworn statement
Section 96 Enlistment of experts

III. Documentary evidence and evidence by inspection

Section 97 Submission/presentation of documents
Section 98 Carrying out inspections
Section 99 Entry onto property and premises
Section 100 Presentation of valuables

IV. Right of refusal to furnish information and documents

Section 101 Relatives’ right of refusal to furnish information and to take an oath
Section 102 Right to withhold information to protect certain professional secrets
Section 103 Right to withhold information for fear of prosecution for a criminal or administrative offence
Section 104 Refusal to render opinion and to submit/present documents
Section 105 Relationship between duty of public entities to furnish information and documents and their duty of secrecy
Section 106 Limitation on the duty to furnish information and documents in the case of adverse effects on the public interest

V. Compensation of persons obliged to furnish information and of experts
Section 107 Compensation of persons obliged to furnish information and of experts
4th Subchapter

Time limits, deadlines, restitutio in integrum

Section 108 Time limits and deadlines
Section 109 Extension of time limits
Section 110 Restitutio in integrum

5th Subchapter
Legal and administrative assistance

Section 111 Administrative assistance obligations
Section 112 Preconditions for and limitations to administrative assistance
Section 113 Selecting an authority
Section 114 Implementation of administrative assistance
Section 115 Costs of administrative assistance
Section 116 Reporting tax crimes
Section 117 International legal and administrative assistance in tax matters
Section 117a Transmission of personal data to Member States of the European Union
Section 117b Use of data to be supplied pursuant to Framework Decision 2006/960/JHA
Section 117c Implementation of nationally applicable international agreements to improve international tax compliance

Second Chapter
Administrative acts

Section 118 Definition of administrative act
Section 119 Clarity and form of an administrative act
Section 120 Ancillary provisions to administrative acts
Section 121 Reasons for an administrative act
Section 122 Disclosure of an administrative act
Section 122a Disclosure of administrative acts via electronic retrieval
Section 123 Appointment of an authorised recipient
Section 124 Validity of an administrative act
Section 125 Invalidity of an administrative act
Section 126 Remedying errors in procedure and form
Section 127 Consequences of errors in procedure and form
Section 128 Reinterpretation of an erroneous administrative act
Section 129 Obvious errors in issuing an administrative act
Section 130 Withdrawal of an unlawful administrative act
Section 131 Revocation of a lawful administrative act
Section 132 Withdrawal, revocation, cancellation and amendment in legal remedy proceedings
Section 133 Return of documents and other items

Fourth Part
Executing the taxation procedure
First Chapter
Recording taxpayer data
1st Subchapter
Data relating to civil status and operations

Section 134 (rescinded)
Section 135 (rescinded)
Section 136 (rescinded)

2nd Subchapter
Duties of disclosure

Section 137 The recording for tax purposes of corporations, associations and pools of assets
Section 138 Reporting commercial activity
Section 138a Country-by-country reports by multinational enterprise groups
Section 138b Obligations of third parties to notify revenue authorities of relationships between domestic taxpayers and third-country companies
Section 138c Authorisation to issue ordinances
Section 139 Registering operations in certain cases

3rd Subchapter

Section 139a Identifier
Section 139b Identification number
Section 139c Business identification number
Section 139d Authorisation to issue ordinances

Second Chapter
Obligations to cooperate
1st Subchapter
The keeping of accounts and records

Section 140 Account-keeping and recording obligations deriving from other laws
Section 141 The obligation of certain taxpayers to keep accounts
Section 142 Supplementary provisions for farmers and foresters
Section 143 Recording the receipt of goods
Section 144 Recording the exit of goods
Section 145 General specifications relating to the keeping of accounts and records
Section 146 Formal rules on the keeping of accounts and records
Section 146a Rules for accounting and record-keeping using electronic record-keeping systems; authorisation to issue ordinances
Section 146b Cash inspections
Section 147 Formal rules on the retention of documents
Section 147a Provisions for retaining the records and documents of certain taxpayers
Section 148 The authorisation of simplifications

2nd Subchapter
Tax returns

Section 149 Filing tax returns
Section 150 Format and content of tax returns
Section 151 Documentation of an oral tax return filing at a tax office
Section 152 Late-filing penalty
Section 153 Correction of returns

3rd Subchapter
Authenticity of accounts

Section 154 Authenticity of accounts

Third Chapter
Assessment and determination procedures
1st Subchapter
Tax assessment
I. General provisions

Section 155 Tax assessment
Section 156 Refraining from tax assessment
Section 157 Form and content of tax assessment notices
Section 158 Validity of accounts
Section 159 Proof of fiduciary status
Section 160 Naming creditors and the recipients of payments
Section 161 Inventory shortfalls
Section 162 Estimating tax bases
Section 163 Divergent assessment of taxes on grounds of equity
Section 164 Tax assessment subject to review
Section 165 Provisional tax assessments, suspension of tax assessments
Section 166 Third party effects of the tax assessment
Section 167 Self-assessed tax return, use of tax marks or tax stamps
Section 168 Effects of a self-assessed tax return

II. Period of limitation for the assessment

Section 169 Period for assessment
Section 170 Beginning of the period for assessment
Section 171 Suspension of expiration

III. Finality

Section 172 Cancelling and amending tax assessment notices
Section 173 Cancelling or amending tax assessment notices as a result of new facts or evidence
Section 174 Conflicting tax assessments
Section 175 Amending tax assessment notices based on basic assessment notices and events with retroactive effect
Section 175a The implementation of mutual agreement understandings
Section 175b Amending tax assessment notices based on transmissions of data from third parties
Section 176 Protection of confidence in cancelling and amending tax notices of assessment
Section 177 Correction of material errors

IV. Costs

Section 178 Costs of making special use of the customs authorities
Section 178a Costs of making special use of the revenue authorities

2nd Subchapter
Separate determination of tax bases, assessment of base amounts of non-personal taxes
I. Separate determination

Section 179 Determination of tax bases
Section 180 Separate determination of tax bases
Section 181 Procedural rules for separate determination, determination period, obligation to file returns
Section 182 Effects of separate determination
Section 183 Authorised recipients in the case of joint determination

II. Assessment of base amounts of non-personal taxes

Section 184 Assessment of base amounts of non-personal taxes

3rd Subchapter
Apportionment and allocation

Section 185 Validity of the general provisions
Section 186 Participants
Section 187 Inspection of files
Section 188 Notice of apportionment
Section 189 Amendment to the apportionment
Section 190 Allocation procedure

4th Subchapter

Section 191 Notices of liability, notices of compulsory tolerance
Section 192 Contractual liability

Fourth Chapter
External audit
1st Subchapter
General provisions

Section 193 Permissibility of an external audit
Section 194 Scope of an external audit
Section 195 Jurisdiction
Section 196 Audit order
Section 197 Disclosure of the audit order
Section 198 Identification duty, start of external audit
Section 199 Audit principles
Section 200 Obligations of the taxpayer to cooperate
Section 201 Final meeting
Section 202 Content and disclosure of audit report
Section 203 Shortened external audit
Section 203a External audits in cases where data is transmitted by third parties

2nd Subchapter
Binding commitments on the basis of an external audit

Section 204 Preconditions for a binding commitment
Section 205 Format of a binding commitment
Section 206 Binding effect
Section 207 Expiry, cancellation and amendment of the binding commitment

Fifth Chapter
Tax investigation (customs investigation)

Section 208 Tax investigation (customs investigation)

Sixth Chapter
Fiscal supervision in special cases

Section 209 Object of fiscal supervision
Section 210 Powers of the revenue authorities
Section 211 Obligations of the persons affected
Section 212 Implementation provisions
Section 213 Special supervisory measures
Section 214 Representatives
Section 215 Seizure during supervision
Section 216 Transfer to federal ownership
Section 217 Tax aides

Fifth Part
Levy procedure
First Chapter
Realisation, maturity and expiration of claims arising from the tax debtor-creditor relationship
1st Subchapter
Realisation and maturity of claims arising from the tax debtor-creditor relationship

Section 218 Realisation of claims from the tax debtor-creditor relationship
Section 219 Requirement to pay in the case of notices of liability
Section 220 Maturity
Section 221 Other maturity
Section 222 Deferment
Section 223 (rescinded)

2nd Subchapter
Payment, set-off and remission

Section 224 Place of payment, date of payment
Section 224a Objects of art in lieu of payment
Section 225 Order of amortisation
Section 226 Set-off
Section 227 Remission

3rd Subchapter
Lapse of right to enforce payment of overdue tax

Section 228 Object of the limitation, limitation period
Section 229 Beginning of limitation period
Section 230 Suspension of limitation period
Section 231 Interruption of limitation period
Section 232 Effect of limitation period

Second Chapter
Interest accrual, late-payment penalties
1st Subchapter
Interest accrual

Section 233 General
Section 233a Interest accrual on tax deficiencies and tax refunds
Section 234 Interest during deferment
Section 235 Interest accrual on evaded taxes
Section 236 Interest on refund amounts during legal proceedings
Section 237 Interest while implementation is suspended
Section 238 Amount and calculation of interest
Section 239 Interest assessment

2nd Subchapter
Late-payment penalties

Section 240 Late-payment penalties

Third Chapter
Provision of collateral

Section 241 Nature of collateral
Section 242 The effect of depositing means of payment
Section 243 Pledging securities
Section 244 Suitable tax guarantors
Section 245 Other items as collateral
Section 246 Acceptance value
Section 247 The exchange of collateral
Section 248 Obligation to provide additional collateral

Sixth Part
First Chapter
General provisions

Section 249 Enforcement authorities
Section 250Request for recovery
Section 251 Enforceable administrative acts
Section 252 Judgement creditor
Section 253 Judgement debtor
Section 254 Preconditions for commencing with enforcement
Section 255 Enforcement against legal persons under public law
Section 256 Objections to enforcement
Section 257 Stay and limitation of enforcement
Section 258 Temporary stay or limitation of enforcement

Second Chapter
Enforcement owing to monetary claims
1st Subchapter
General provisions

Section 259 Formal reminder
Section 260 Statement of the reason for the indebtedness
Section 261 Write-off
Section 262 Third party rights
Section 263 Enforcement against spouses
Section 264 Enforcement against the usufructuary
Section 265 Enforcement against heirs
Section 266 Other cases of limited liability
Section 267 Enforcement proceedings against associations without legal capacity

2nd Subchapter
Apportionment of a joint and several obligation

Section 268 General
Section 269 Application
Section 270 General apportionment formula
Section 271 Apportionment formula for capital tax
Section 272 Apportionment formula for prepayments
Section 273 Apportionment formula for tax deficiencies
Section 274 Special apportionment formula
Section 275 (rescinded)
Section 276 Tax arrears, commencement of enforcement
Section 277 Enforcement
Section 278 Limitation of enforcement
Section 279 Form and content of the apportionment notice
Section 280 Amendments to the apportionment notice

3rd Subchapter
Enforcement against movable assets
I. General

Section 281 Attachment
Section 282 Effect of the attachment
Section 283 Exclusion of warranty claims
Section 284 Judgement debtor’s asset disclosure

II. Enforcement against items

Section 285 Enforcement officer
Section 286 Enforcement against items
Section 287 Powers of the enforcement officer
Section 288 Enlistment of witnesses
Section 289 Period of enforcement
Section 290 Enforcement officer’s requests and notifications
Section 291 Record
Section 292 Averting attachment
Section 293 Liens and preferential rights of third parties
Section 294 Unpicked crops
Section 295 Exemption of items from attachment
Section 296 Realisation
Section 297 Suspension of realisation
Section 298 Auction
Section 299 Knockdown
Section 300 Lowest bid
Section 301 Ceasing the auction
Section 302 Securities
Section 303 Registered securities
Section 304 Auctioning unpicked crops
Section 305 Realisation in special circumstances
Section 306 Enforcement against spare aircraft parts
Section 307 Subordinate attachment
Section 308 Realisation in the case of multiple attachment

III. Enforcement against receivables and other property rights

Section 309 Attachment of a monetary claim
Section 310 Attachment of a receivable secured by a mortgage
Section 311 Attachment of a receivable secured by a ship mortgage or registered lien on an aircraft
Section 312 Attachment of a receivable from endorsable instruments
Section 313 Attachment of regular earnings
Section 314 Sequestration order
Section 315 Effect of the sequestration order
Section 316 Third party debtor’s obligation to submit a declaration
Section 317 Other form of realisation
Section 318 Claims for the return or transfer of items
Section 319 Exemption of receivables from attachment
Section 320 Multiple attachment of a receivable
Section 321 Enforcement against other property rights

4th Subchapter
Enforcement against immovable assets

Section 322 Procedure
Section 323 Enforcement against the legal successor

5th Subchapter
Freezing injunction/arrest of the debtor

Section 324 Freezing injunction
Section 325 Cancellation of the freezing injunction
Section 326 Arrest of the debtor

6th Subchapter
Realisation of collateral

Section 327 Realisation of collateral

Third Chapter
Enforcement other than of monetary claims
1st Subchapter
Enforcement owing to actions, tolerance or omissions

Section 328 Coercive measures
Section 329 Coercive fine
Section 330 Substitutive execution
Section 331 Direct enforcement
Section 332 Giving warning of coercive measures
Section 333 Determining the coercive measures
Section 334 Substitutive coercive detention
Section 335 Termination of the coercive procedure

2nd Subchapter
Forcing provision of collateral

Section 336 Forcing provision of collateral

Fourth Chapter

Section 337 Costs of enforcement
Section 338 Types of fees
Section 339 Attachment fee
Section 340 Confiscation fee
Section 341 Realisation fee
Section 342 Plurality of debtors
Section 343 (rescinded)
Section 344 Expenses
Section 345 Travel expenses and expense allowances
Section 346 Incorrect treatment of items, period for assessment

Seventh Part
Out-of-court proceedings for legal remedy
First Chapter

Section 347 Permissibility of objections
Section 348 Impermissibility of objections
Section 349 (rescinded)
Section 350 Gravamen
Section 351 Binding effect of other administrative acts
Section 352 Authority to object in the case of joint determination
Section 353 Legal successor’s authority to object
Section 354 Waiver of objection

Second Chapter
Procedural rules

Section 355 Period for objection
Section 356 Instructions on applicable legal remedies
Section 357 Submission of the objection
Section 358 Verification of the requirements for permissibility
Section 359 Participants
Section 360 Enlistment of others in the proceedings
Section 361 Suspension of implementation
Section 362 Withdrawal of the objection
Section 363 Suspending and adjourning the proceedings
Section 364 Disclosure of the taxation documents
Section 364a Discussion of the current and legal status
Section 364b Determination of deadlines
Section 365 Application of procedural rules
Section 366 Form, content and issuance of the objection ruling
Section 367 Objection ruling
Section 368(rescinded)

Eighth Part
Provisions relating to crimes and administrative fines, criminal and administrative fine proceedings
First Chapter
Provisions on crimes

Section 369 Tax crimes
Section 370 Tax evasion
Section 370a (rescinded)
Section 371 Voluntary disclosure of tax evasion
Section 372 Illegal import, export, or transit of goods
Section 373 Professional, violent or organised smuggling
Section 374 Receiving, holding or selling goods obtained by tax evasion
Section 375 Incidental consequences
Section 376 Limitation period for prosecution

Second Chapter
Provisions on administrative fines

Section 377 Tax-related administrative offences
Section 378 Reckless understatement of tax
Section 379 General minor tax fraud
Section 380 Endangerment of withholding taxes
Section 381 Endangerment of excise tax
Section 382 Endangerment of import and export duties
Section 383 Unauthorised acquisition of claims to a tax refund and rebate
Section 383a (rescinded)
Section 383b Breach of obligations in transmitting data contained in authorisations granting powers of representation
Section 384 Limitation period for prosecution
Section 384a Infringements under Article 83(4) to (6) of Regulation (EU) 2016/679

Third Chapter
Criminal proceedings
1st Subchapter
General provisions

Section 385 Validity of procedural rules
Section 386 Jurisdiction of the revenue authority in the case of tax crimes
Section 387 Revenue authority with subject-matter jurisdiction
Section 388 Revenue authority with local jurisdiction
Section 389 Related criminal matters
Section 390 Multiple jurisdiction
Section 391 Competent court
Section 392 Defence
Section 393 Relationship between criminal proceedings and the taxation procedure
Section 394 Transfer of ownership
Section 395 Revenue authority’s power to inspect files
Section 396 Suspending proceedings

2nd Subchapter
I. General

Section 397 Initiating criminal proceedings
Section 398 Stay on the grounds of insignificance
Section 398a Refraining from prosecution in certain cases

II. Revenue authority procedure in the case of tax crimes

Section 399 Revenue authority’s rights and obligations
Section 400 Application for the order of summary punishment
Section 401 Application to order incidental consequences in autonomous proceedings

III. Role of the revenue authority in procedures carried out by the public prosecutor

Section 402 General rights and obligations of the revenue authority
Section 403 Participation of the revenue authority

IV. Tax and customs investigation

Section 404 Tax and customs investigation

V. Reimbursement for witnesses and experts

Section 405 Reimbursement for witnesses and experts

3rd Subchapter
Judicial proceedings

Section 406 Revenue authorities’ role in summary proceedings and autonomous proceedings
Section 407 Participation of the revenue authority in other cases

4th Subchapter
Costs of the proceedings

Section 408 Costs of the proceedings

Fourth Chapter
Administrative fine proceedings

Section 409 Competent administrative authority
Section 410 Supplementary provisions on administrative fine proceedings
Section 411 Administrative fine proceedings against lawyers, tax consultants, tax representatives, auditors or certified accountants
Section 412 Service, enforcement, costs

Ninth Part
Final provisions

Section 413 Restriction of basic rights
Section 414 (obsolete)
Section 415 Entry into force

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