GRP Rainer LLP

Federal Constitutional Court Supports Equal Tax Treatment of Spouses and Registered Partners

The Federal Constitutional Court has ruled that the preference of spouses to registered partners for tax purposes violates the constitution.


Cologne, NRW -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/17/2013 -- GRP Rainer Lawyers and Tax Advisors in Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Dusseldorf, Essen, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart, Hanover, Bremen, Nuremberg and London conclude: In their judgment from 07/18/2012 (case No. 1 BvL 16/11) the judges assumed that the discrimination of registered partners against spouses that existed in connection with the real estate purchase tax violates the constitution. Only spouses benefited from the change in the land purchase tax rates as applied to realty transfers before 2010 while registered partners were not covered by these benefits. In addition, for old cases starting from 2001 that are affected by this tax, there was a supplementary privilege rule.

The Federal Constitutional Court granted the legislature the time to introduce a new regime for the old cases in order to eliminate the difference in treatment by 2010.

Up to date registered partners have not benefited from the tax concessions by the so-called "income splitting". By the respective aggregation and subsequent halving of the income of the spouse these could often gain advantages in their income tax.

There has been a discussion among the politicians on the equivalence of registered partners and spouses in fiscal terms. The federal government will now get more incentives to put registered partnerships on an equal footing with marriage. Moreover, it seems even possible that the Constitutional Court will soon declare unconstitutional the inequality in the matters related to the income tax.

Along with legal advice regarding income taxation, an attorney can advise you on such important matters as the accounting law, the sales tax, the corporate tax and the property tax. Moreover, it offers the preparation of tax models and the care with tax audits and external audits. Should it be necessary, a lawyer experienced in tax law assists you in disputes with tax authorities or provides you legal support before courts.

About GRP Rainer LLP
GRP Rainer LLP is an international firm of lawyers and tax advisors who are specialists in commercial law. The firm counsels commercial and industrial companies and corporations, as well as associations, small- and mid-sized businesses, self-employed freelancers and private individuals worldwide from offices Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Dusseldorf, Essen, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hannover, Munich, Stuttgart, Bremen, Nuremberg and London UK.

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