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New German Air Traffic Tax Act Introduced

Germany
25 Jan 2011

Since 1 January 2011, a new German Air Traffic Tax Act has been enacted. The new tax is applicable on departure of an air passenger from a German airport to another German or foreign airport. Taxand Germany looks at how the air traffic tax will be implemented and the effect this may have on foreign airlines.

The air traffic tax is triggered after the departure of the respective air passenger. The tax payer, respectively the authorised agent, has to file a tax return with the competent main customs office before the 10th day of the following month in which the tax has been triggered (e.g. on 10 February 2011 for January 2011).

The respective airline is the tax payer that is liable for the German air traffic tax. Airlines which are not resident in Germany have to appoint an authorised agent in Germany who has to fulfill the obligations of the German Air Traffic Tax Act on behalf of the them. In this case, the agent then becomes liable for the German air traffic tax.

The amount of tax depends on the distance from the Frankfurt airport (even if the departure is not in Frankfurt, but e.g. in Berlin) to the destination airport. If the destination airport is not more than 2,500 km away from the Frankfurt airport, the tax is EUR8 per passenger and flight. If the destination airport is more than 2,500 km, but not more than 6,000 km away from the Frankfurt airport, the tax is EUR25 per passenger and flight. And finally, if the destination airport is more than 6,000 km away from the Frankfurt airport, the tax is EUR45 per passenger and flight. The German Air Traffic Tax Act includes an attachment in which most of the worldwide airports are listed together with the taxable amount.

Taxand's Take


Since an air traffic tax is levied on any flight leaving a German airport (the amount of tax depends on the distance). This will particuarly impact foreign airlines that offer flights from German airports but don't have a subsidiary in Germany (usually foreign airlines have only a branch in Germany). These airlines will therefore have to appoint an authorised agent who will file the monthly tax returns and who is also liable for the tax. Due to the liability of the agent, there might not be many tax firms who will offer this service for foreign airlines since the tax liability is regarded as a high risk for them.Your contact for further queries is:
Annekatrin Kuefner
T. +49 6196 592 19139
E. annekatrin.kuefner@luther-lawfirm.com

Taxand's Take Author