Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) renounces the controversial taxation of the December aid. "Due to the pleasing development of prices and the lower amount of state aid, the bureaucratic effort is now disproportionate to the volume," said the FDP politician of the F.A.Z. "Taxation should be dispensed with," said Lindner.

Manfred Schäfers

Business correspondent in Berlin.

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"There are indications of the political will in the entire coalition to clarify this problem in the very next legislative process." According to sources in his ministry, the implementation costs of the states for the December gas aid are estimated at 261 million euros – with a total revenue potential of the federal and state governments of 110 million euros. In addition, there would be considerable bureaucratic burdens and other costs for tax consultants and other parties involved, it is said.

After the drastic increase in energy prices as a result of Russia's war of aggression in Ukraine, the state adopted the December discount for gas last year. The social question associated with this should be answered later. In addition, the Annual Tax Act 2022 made the December aid taxable. The scheme was designed in a similar way to the solidarity surcharge. For high earners, the aid is "added" to the taxable income. A mitigation zone is intended to prevent stress jumps.

Previously, it was intended to apply this taxation to the general gas and heat price brake that will apply until April 2024. Here, too, the tax liability was aimed at the high earners who have to pay solos. According to initial rough calculations by the Ministry of Finance, the tax revenue from the gas price brake, calculated on the basis of known call-offs from the crisis frameworks, is a maximum of 570 million euros this year and 190 million euros next year. "But here, too, there is a threat of implementation costs, as in the case of the December aid with over 260 million euros," it says.

This does not include bureaucratic burdens. Taxable income from the "brake advantages" requires a clear distribution and allocation of the beneficiary in a court-proof declaratory procedure. This is not possible solely by allocating the benefits accruing to the taxpayer. According to F.A.Z. information, Lindner and Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) have already informed the responsible coalition deputies that the federal government wants to refrain from taxing the price brakes.