Almost all people in Germany pay taxes.
Even a company has to pay taxes.
The state gets the taxes,
because the state pays for things with it.

For example, the state builds with tax money:

The state also pays police officers and firefighters.
And the state helps people,
if you do not have a job.
The state does all this with tax money.

Who has to pay taxes?

There are laws for that.
These are called tax laws.
It says who pays taxes.

Some tax laws are made by the local council or city council.
Then they apply only in that municipality or city.
Some laws the country day makes.
Then they apply in a federal state.
Some laws are made by the federal day.
Then they apply throughout Germany.

For example, there are these taxes:

Income tax

You have to pay income tax,
if you earn money.
For example, if one gets salary for work.
Even a company has to pay income tax
if it makes a profit.

Not all people pay the same amount of income tax.
If someone earns a lot, he has to pay more tax.
If someone earns little, he pays less.
There is a word for this: progression.

This is fair.
Because those who have more money can also give more away.

The tax office does the math,
how much everyone has to pay.
So you have to tell the tax office once a year,
How much you earn.
That is called income-tax declaration.

Not everyone has to make an income tax return.
Your local tax office can tell you,
when you have to make an income tax declaration.

Wage tax

Everybody has to pay the wage tax,
who work in Germany.

You do not pay the income tax yourself.
The work-giver pays it to the tax office.

Not all people pay the same amount of income tax.
The tax office calculates how much you have to pay.
That is what the tax classes are for.

There are six tax classes.
For example:
People with children are in a different tax bracket
than people without children.
And people with children pay less wage tax.

Sometimes the employer pays too much income tax to the tax office.
But the worker-employee can get it back again.
For this he must make an income tax declaration.

Sales tax

The sales tax is paid when shopping.
For example, when you buy food.
Then the state gets money.

When shopping you do not notice the sales tax.
Because you do not pay it to the state yourself.
You pay for your things at the cash register.
And the business pays the sales tax later to the state.

Consumption tax

The consumption tax is like the sales tax.
Consumption tax is never paid alone.
They are always paid together with the sales tax.
You are paid, for example, for:

  • Cigarettes
  • Coffee
  • electricity
  • Gasoline
  • Alcohol (for example, beer or champagne)

Dog tax

Dog tax exists almost everywhere in Germany.
Each city and municipality can decide for itself,
if there is a dog tax.
And also how much the tax is.

Dog tax you have to pay only,
if you have a dog.
For some dogs you pay more taxes.

Church tax

you have to pay church tax,
if you belong to the church.
People with more money have to pay more church tax.
People with less money pay less.

When you no longer belong to the church,
you no longer have to pay church tax.

Motor vehicle tax

You have to pay the motor vehicle tax,
if one has a car.
Even if you have a motorcycle
or a truck.

that is why you have to register your car.
This is what you do in an office in your community or city.
The office is called the licensing board.
Then one pays the tax.

If you deregister your car,
one does not pay the tax anymore.
Then one may no longer drive a car.

Business tax

Almost every company has to pay trade tax.
But you do not pay the same everywhere.
Every community and every city decides for itself,
How much to pay.

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