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Germany - Overview and introduction

Germany - Overview and introduction

Taxation of international executives


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Berlin skyline with Spree river at sunset, Germany

The German taxation scheme for individuals is composed of an income tax, a solidarity surcharge, and where applicable, church tax. Individuals residing in Germany are subject to tax on their worldwide income unless exempt under the provisions of a tax treaty. This is known as the concept of unlimited tax liability. The social insurance system provides for pension insurance, unemployment insurance, health and nursing insurance as well as accident insurance and covers all employees working in Germany. Exemption may be granted under the applicable EU regulations or a totalization agreement.

The maximum tax rate in Germany is 45 percent plus a solidarity surcharge of 5.5 percent of the income tax. In addition, the individual may be liable to pay church tax at 8 or 9 percent of the income tax.

Non-residents are subject to tax on certain categories of income from German sources under the concept of limited tax liability.

The official currency of Germany is the Euro (EUR).

Herein, the host country refers to the country to which the employee is assigned. The home country refers to the country where the assignee lives when he/she is not on assignment.

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