Taxes in Europe Database v2
The legal basis for the imposition of insurance tax is the Insurance Tax Act as published on 10 January 1996 (Federal Law Gazette 1996 I p. 22), last amended by Article 14 of the Act of 18 December 2013 (Federal Law Gazette 2013 I p. 4318).
Federal Republic of Germany including the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea
The insured person is liable, although the insurance companies are generally responsible for paying over the tax. If insurance is taken up with insurers resident in countries outside the European Union or the European Economic Area, the insured persons must file a tax return with the Federal Central Tax Office (Bundeszentralamt für Steuern or BZSt) and calculate and pay the tax themselves. Insured persons who have to pay the tax themselves must also notify the Federal Central Tax Office without delay of the conclusion of the insurance contract.
Insurance tax, which belongs to the category of transaction taxes, is imposed on the payment of insurance premiums.
Insurance tax is generally computed from the premium paid. In the case of insurance against special agrarian risks (hail damage, storm, heavy frost, heavy rain or flooding), however, it is computed from the policy amount.
The tax is payable regardless of whether the purchase of insurance was voluntary (i.e., by contract) or mandatory (e.g., prescribed by law).
The tax does not apply to various types of insurance, for instance statutory and voluntary health and life insurance and unemployment insurance (Section 4 of the Insurance Tax Act).
Generally, the tax rate is 19% of the premium (and as of 1 July 2010, 22% of 60% of the premium for fire insurance and insurance against business interruption by fire, 19% of 86% of the premium for residential building insurance with provision for fire hazard, 19% of 85% of the premium for home contents insurance with provision for fire hazard, 3% of the premium for marine hull insurance and 3.8% of the premium for accident insurance incorporating a no-claims bonus). The tax on insurance against special agrarian risks (for risks arising from hail damage, storm, heavy frost, heavy rain or flooding - so-called agrarian multi-risk insurance) is levied at 0.3 per thousand of the policy amount (since 1 January 2013).
The insurer or the authorized person has to pay the tax arising during the registration period within fifteen days of the expiration of this period. The registration period is the calendar month. If the total tax for the preceding calendar year amounted to no more than 6,000 euros, the registration period is the calendar quarter. If the total tax for the preceding calendar year amounted to no more than 1,000 euros, the registration period is the calendar year.
Revenue from insurance tax accrues to the Federation. It is collected by the Federal Central Tax Office.