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Generic Tax Name Capital tax - Capital yields tax
Tax name in the national language Kapitalertragsteuer
Tax name in English Capital yields tax
Member State DE-Germany
Tax in force since 1993/01/01
If abolished, date on which the tax ceases to apply
Business version date 2015/01/01
Version date 2015/02/17
This file was last updated on

Type of tax
Direct taxes Personal income tax
Corporate income tax

Indirect taxes VAT
Excise duty (EU harmonised)
Alcoholic beverages
Energy products and electricity
Manufactured tobacco

Social security contribution Employers
Legal base

Capital yields tax, like wages tax, is a term used to designate one of the special forms of income tax. The legal basis is sections 43 to 45d of the Income Tax Act.

Who sets
The tax rate is set by

The tax base is set by

The reliefs are set by



Capital Yields Tax on dividends:

federal government and federal states (Länder) governments 50 % each.


Capital Yields Tax on other investment income (interest, capital gains, etc.):

federal government and federal states (Länder) governments 44 % each, municipalities 12 %.

Geographical Scope

Federal Republic of Germany


Income becomes liable to the tax when it accrues to the beneficiary. At such time the entity distributing or the agency paying out capital yields must deduct the tax due for the account of the beneficiary.

Subject to certain conditions the obligation to withhold capital yields tax may be waived (for instance where an exemption order has been issued or a certificate of non-assessment submitted). Further details concerning the exemption procedure may be obtained from tax offices and banks.

If the beneficiary's final tax liability is less than the capital yields tax withheld, the tax will, in principle, be refunded in whole or in part in the course of assessment. For non-residents subject to limited tax liability, the capital yields tax functions in principle as a tax in lieu. Nevertheless, it is possible, by way of a refund procedure, to reduce the tax burden to the permissible level of withholding tax under the relevant Double Taxation Agreement.

Tax object and basis of assessment

Capital yields tax is payable both on income and - in the case of privately held assets - on profits from the sale of capital assets and on profits from forward transactions.

Therefore the capital yields tax applies to dividends, income from profit participation rights, income from investments with credit institutions, futures, certificates and capital gains from dealings in shares or profits from the sale, encashment or return of other capital investments (e.g. long term bonds or financial innovations).

Deductions, Allowances, Credits, Exemptions

Rate(s) Structure

The basic rate of the capital yields tax is 25%. If church tax is owed, the capital yields tax is reduced by 25% of the church tax due on the capital yields (8% or 9% depending on the federal Land involved).

In the case of certain payments for corporations the capital yields tax is 15% (e.g. payments made by a commercial operation to the corresponding public-law corporation, or distributions of dividends, income from silent partnerships and income from profit participation rights which is paid to corporations which are exempt from corporation tax).

The capital yields tax has added to it the solidarity surcharge of 5.5% and - if a private investor applies for this option at his credit institution - the church tax.

Tax due date

Income becomes liable to the tax when it accrues to the beneficiary. At such time the tax due must be deducted for the account of the beneficiary. The tax withheld within a calendar month must be paid over to the tax office by the 10th of the following month.

Tax collector

Capital yields tax is collected by the federal states (Länder). It must be paid over to the tax office responsible for assessing the income of the distributing entity or disbursing agency.

Special features

Economic function

Environmental taxes

Tax revenue
ESA95 code d51mc + d51ob

Annual tax revenue (millions)
Tax revenue as % of GDP
Tax revenue as % of total tax revenue
2012 28,410.00 EUR 1.03
2011 26,186.00 EUR 0.97
2010 21,355.00 EUR 0.83
2009 23,093.00 EUR 0.94
2008 29,358.00 EUR 1.15
2007 25,931.00 EUR 1.03
2006 20,789.00 EUR 0.87
2005 16,908.00 EUR 0.73
2004 15,582.00 EUR 0.69
2003 16,605.00 EUR 0.75
2002 21,168.00 EUR 0.96
2001 29,011.00 EUR 1.33
2000 23,865.00 EUR 1.13