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Withhold, declare and pay income tax for service providers living abroad
Source: Zuständigkeitsfinder Schleswig-Holstein (Linie6PLus)
The Federal Central Tax Office (Bundeszentralamt für Steuern, BZSt) is responsible for collecting income tax on limited taxable income of service providers living abroad. Limited taxable income of service providers living abroad are:
Income generated by artistic, sporting, artistic, entertainment or similar performances carried out in Germany, for example
- Commencement fees
- prize money
- Remuneration for participation in talk shows
- income from the exploitation in Germany of artistic, sporting, artistic, entertainment or similar performances carried out in Germany
Income from the provision of
- rights (for example: film rights, music rights, personal rights, copyrights, trademark rights, patent rights) as well as
- industrial, technical, scientific and similar knowledge and skills (know-how)
- Income from activities as a member of the supervisory board of a German company
Income tax arises when the remuneration accrues to the person rendering the service. When the remuneration is paid, the recipient of the service must withhold, declare and pay the tax. The tax deduction is made for the account of the provider of the service.
Amount of income tax:
- 15 percent of the income, plus solidarity surcharge of 5.5 percent of the tax withheld
- in the case of remuneration for supervisory board members: 30 percent of the income, plus solidarity surcharge of 5.5 percent of the tax withheld
- if the tax is paid by the recipient of the benefit: 17.82 percent of the remuneration (43.89 percent in the case of supervisory board members), plus solidarity surcharge of 0.98 percent (2.41 percent in the case of supervisory board members) of the remuneration
You must declare income tax via the ElsterOnline portal or the BZStOnline portal.
You must register income tax for limited taxable income of service providers living abroad via the ElsterOnline-Portal (EOP) or the BZStOnline-Portal (BOP).
Registration in the BOP:
- You first need to obtain your own tax number from the BZSt. To do this, go to the BZSt website and call up the application for (re-)approval/registration for the electronic transmission of withholding tax returns online. Complete the application and print it out. Sign the application and send it by post to the BZSt.
- The BZSt will then inform you of your tax number by post. You will receive the registration code by e-mail.
- Now you need a certificate for the BOP. To do this, call up the BOP and create a user account using the approval code. You will then receive the activation data by e-mail and the activation code for your access by post.
- Activate your access in the BOP with the data. You will receive a temporary certificate.
Log in to the BOP with your temporary certificate to complete the registration. You will then receive your final certificate, which you can always use to log in to the BOP.
- If you already have an ELSTER certificate, you can also use it to log in to the BOP.
Registration in the EOP:
- You need a certificate to register in the EOP. To do this, call up the EOP and create a user account. You will receive the activation data by e-mail and the activation code for your access by mail.
- Activate your access in the EOP with the data. You will then receive a certificate with which you can always log in to the EOP.
- Submit a written application for a new tax number for the tax deduction procedure in accordance with § 50a EStG.
- The BZSt will send you the new tax number by post.
Register for tax after registration:
- Log in online to your user account in the EOP or BOP.
- Register the tax in the EOP or BOP using the electronic data sheet provided.
- Pay the tax calculated in the online portal by bank transfer. Alternatively, you can issue a direct debit mandate to the BZSt. By participating in the SEPA Direct Debit Scheme, you ensure that your payment is received by the BZSt on time. A template for issuing the direct debit mandate can be found on the BZSt website. Send the completed declaration for participation in the SEPA Direct Debit Scheme by post to the BZSt.
Who should I contact?
- You need a tax number from the Bundeszentralamt für Steuern (Federal Central Tax Office)
- You are registered in the ElsterOnline-Portal (EOP) and have an EOP certificate
- You are registered in the BZStOnline-Portal (BOP) and have a BOP certificate.
Which documents are required?
What are the fees?
What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?
The recipient of the benefit must declare and pay the income tax withheld in a quarter by the 10th of the following month.
- for registration in the BOP or EOP: up to 6 weeks
- for applying for a tax number: 2 to 4 weeks
Applications / forms
- Forms: yes
- Online procedure possible: yes
- Written form required: no
- Personal appearance required: no
Technically approved by
Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF)