Germany: German tax vouchers, the OGAW-IV UCITS IV Directive and the German Budget 2013

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Reference number: A12140
Category: Tax
Market: Germany
Last updated: 25/07/2012
Languages: English  French  German  

Further to our Announcements A11152, dated 14 October 2011, and A12020, dated 1 February 2012, regarding the implementation of OGAW-IV Umsetzungsgesetz (UCITS IV Directive), we hereby provide information about the following:

  • Requirements for tax reclaim processing;
  • German tax voucher application process and how customers can request German tax vouchers in Clearstream Banking1);
  • Draft of budget 2013 (JStG 2013 - see the attached zip file);
  • Taxation of German growth funds / accumulation funds, taxability and calculation;
  • Forms to use.

Requirements for tax reclaim processing

Important note:

      From 2012, a tax voucher is required for a tax reclaim with the central tax office (BZSt). Each Clearstream Banking customer eligible for Double Taxation Treaty (DTT) election needs a German single tax voucher (physical paper) when reclaiming taxes on dividend distributions and fund distributions (including those for growth funds or accumulation funds).

In order to apply for standard refund of withholding tax, the following documents must be submitted to Clearstream Banking by the prescribed deadlines:

  • Claim for Refund of German Withholding Taxes on Dividends and/or Interest;
  • Power of Attorney;
  • Tax Voucher (for dividend and fund distributions (including those for growth funds or accumulation funds);
  • Credit Advice (for convertible bonds, certificates and profit participating certificates);
  • Letter of Request to Clearstream Banking for Reclaim of German Withholding Tax.

Please refer to the details in the Market Taxation Guide – Germany.

Tax vouchers are only created at the request of the customer. Before making such request, the customer must submit a signed One-Time Customer Declaration (see the attached zip file).

Clearstream Banking may only issue tax vouchers if there is sufficient existing “voucher contingent” per event for the customer. Accordingly, a continuous check of the voucher contingent is required at customer single-account level. The total amount of issued tax vouchers and outstanding requests must not exceed the total amount of taxes paid. If the voucher contingent is exhausted, no further vouchers will be created and every subsequent open application will be answered with a rejection letter (until the voucher contingent is renewed).

Application for a tax voucher

The Clearstream Banking customer can file an application for a single tax voucher (“Einzelsteuerbescheinigung”) with respect either to their own assets or to those of their client.

An application for a German tax voucher with respect to a Clearstream Banking customer’s assets must normally be made via electronic upload of a data file in the name of beneficial owner/end-investor of the capital income (see Upload BO List on the Clearstream website). Only on an exceptional basis will Clearstream Banking accept an application in writing via Antragsformular auf Bescheinigung der Kapitalertragsteuer (see the attached zip file).

Tax vouchers are issued after the completion of the market claims process (25 business days after payment date). The fee for the issuance of a German tax voucher s set out in the Clearstream Banking Fee Schedule in effect at the relevant time.

If the tax amount to be certified in the tax voucher(s) requested by a Clearstream Banking customer (on their own behalf or on behalf of their client(s)) exceeds the amount of the tax actually deducted for an event, Clearstream Banking will reject the application for a tax voucher.

Furthermore, the current Recovery Directive Implementation Act (Beitreibungsrichtlinie-Umsetzungsgesetz ("BeitrRLUmsG")2) provides for an accumulative tax voucher (“Sammelsteuerbescheinigung“) used in the context of the refund, by the domestic credit institution and ultimate custodian, of withholding tax that has been retained twice (if given). The application for such a voucher may only be filed for shares that were acquired “cum-dividend“ and delivered “cum-dividend“ (that is, so-called “cum-cum-constellation”; “cum-ex-trades“ are not covered).

Clearstream Banking treats an accumulative tax voucher like a single tax voucher. The application for an accumulative tax voucher suspends the issuance of a single tax voucher (including the forwarding of the application for a single tax voucher) for taxes retained on the same capital income. CBF will issue accumulative tax vouchers according to the legal requirements and will mark each accumulative tax voucher as such.

The Clearstream Banking customer must earmark the application for a German tax voucher as one of the following:

  • Application for a single tax voucher:

    • Official template I from the German Tax Authorities for personal assets (Privatvermögen); or
    • Official template III from the German Tax Authorities for funds from business capital (Betriebsvermögen - see the example in the attached zip file); or
    • Application for an accumulative tax voucher; or

  • Official template IV from the German Tax Authorities (see the example in the attached zip file).

In letter IV C 1 - S 2401/08/10001:007 (DOK 2011/1041094) from 29 December 2011, the German Ministry of Finance (MoF) published the final draft of the accumulative tax voucher, requiring that it show the following:

  • The original date of request by the German depository that applied for the accumulative tax voucher; and
  • The name and address of any other subcustodian(s), the Clearstream Banking customer being the first subcustodian in the depository chain.

Note: If the Clearstream Banking customer does not specify the type of request as for a single or accumulative tax voucher with regard to business capital or to personal assets, then Clearstream Banking must assume that application is made for a single tax voucher for an individual person with regard to personal assets/Privatvermögen based on Einkommensteuergesetz (EStG).

In the case of an application for an accumulative tax voucher, Clearstream Banking assumes that the day of the data file transfer or date of issuance of the application form is the date of application of the German depository that asked for the accumulative tax voucher.

Draft of budget 2013 (JStG 2013)

The MoF will extend, with the Jahressteuergesetz 2013, the type of instruments and will include into the UCITS-IV regulation convertible bonds, certificates and profit participating certificates.

The MoF plans the possibility to use German tax vouchers on “manufactured dividends” in paying the taxes not withheld.

After final approval by the German Parliament (Bundestag) and its Upper House (Bundesrat), Clearstream Banking will inform customers about processing on "manufactured dividends“. The section "Bescheinigung und Erstattung der Kapitalertragsteuer bei Leerverkäufen im Ausland“ from the CBF document "Bescheinigung und Erstattung/Entlastung von einbehaltener Kapitalertragsteuer und des Solidaritätszuschlags“, dated 23 November 2011, will be reactivated and subsequently updated.

Taxation of German growth funds / accumulation funds

The reinvestment of a German growth fund / accumulation fund, which is according to the height of the revenue that the fund achieved during the business year, is liable to tax according to the German Income Tax Act (EStG).

The responsibility for taxation has changed during the years and can be separated into the following relevant tax regimes:

  • German capital gains tax (1 January 2009 – 31 December 2011)

    With the introduction of the German capital gains tax (CGT) as of 1 January 2009, taxation was applied by the issuer of the growth fund on the basis of the newly introduced KESt rate of 25% and the additional Solidarity Surcharge (SolZ) of 5.5 % of the KESt.

    Under this tax regime, growth funds were also liable to church tax (KiSt) based on the denomination and residence (German federal state) of the end investor. As the issuer is not aware of these details, it was decided that the church tax could not be debited and should remain within the assets of the growth fund, with the responsibility for the taxation falling to the end investor within his annual tax declaration.

  • OGAW IV (as of 1 January 2012)

    With the introduction of the OGAW IV Directive and the related changes in the German Income Tax Act, the responsibility for the taxation of German growth funds switched from the issuer to the last domestic paying agent (for example, CBF). The tax rates introduced with the German CGT as of 1 January 2009 (KESt and SolZ) stayed the same.

    The issuer of the growth fund must provide the maximum tax amount (tax liquidity), which includes KESt (25%), SolZ (5.5% of the KESt) and the highest possible KiSt (9% of the KESt).

    The last domestic paying agent reduces the tax liquidity by KESt and SolZ and credits the reduced tax liquidity (KiSt) to its foreign customers. German domestic depository banks get the full tax liquidity in Germany as the last domestic paying agent for their clients. The foreign customer is credited with the KiSt because he is not liable to church tax3.

The following example compares the two tax regimes to show the calculation differences. It also shows that a foreign customer has the same value of the growth fund independent of the effective tax regime.

KESt 25% a-25.00-25.00
SolZ 5.5% of KESt-1.37-1.37
KiSt 9% of KESt0.00-2.25
Assets of growth fund73.6371.38
Credit of KiSt to foreign customer0.002.25
Assets of growth fund after KiSt credit73.6373.63

a. The displayed KESt is not correct: normally, the 25% tax rate is reduced to 24.45% because the German Income Tax Act excludes the church tax as a special expense.

Calculation done by the last German domestic depository bank

The following section describes, referring to WSS screenshots, the calculation that is done by the last German domestic depository bank (auszahlende Stelle).

The tax calculation is done on the following taxable bases (Bemessungsgrundlagen):

  • Domestic Dividend Part (inländischer Dividendenanteil);
  • Foreign Dividend Part (ausländischer Dividendenanteil);
  • Interest Part (Zinsanteil);
  • REIT-Part (REIT-Anteil);
  • Estate Part (Immobilienanteil).

Example for calculation of tax:

Foreign100 Units
Domestic100 Units
Field name in WSS-WMDescriptionValue
Tax liqudity / liability (Steuerliquidität):
ANZUF.ST.LIQUID.Full tax liquidity per tradable unitEUR 2.799
Taxable bases (Bemessungsgrundlagen):
KEST-BG ZINSENInterest PartEUR 3.00
DIV.OHNE REIT-DIV.Domestic and foreign Dividend PartEUR 2.00

Calculation for domestic customer in CBF:

Holding * Full tax liquidity = Credit:

100 * 2.799 = 279.90

Calculation for foreign customer in Clearstream (CBF and CBL):

Holding * (full tax liquidity-(sum of taxable bases/100*26.375) = Credit:

100 * (2.799 - ((2+1+3+4)/100*26.375) = 16.15

These taxable bases can be found in WSS-WM (see the attached zip file).

Further information

For further information, please contact the Clearstream Banking Tax Help Desk on:

Telephone:+352-243-32835+49-(0) 69-2 11-1 3821
Fax:+352-243-632835+49-(0) 69-2 11-61 3821

or Clearstream Banking Customer Service or your Relationship Officer.

Content of attached zip file

  • One-Time Customer Declaration;
  • Kundenerklärung;
  • CSV File for tax voucher;
  • CSV File description;
  • Examples of German tax Vouchers;
  • Antragsformular auf Bescheinigung der Kapitalertragsteuer (in German only);
  • Draft of budget 2013 (Jahressteuergesetz 2013);
  • Taxable bases in WSS-WM.

1. Unless explicitly stated otherwise, Clearstream Banking refers collectively to Clearstream Banking AG, registered office at 61, Mergenthalerallee, 65760 Eschborn, Germany and registered in the Register B of the Amtsgericht Frankfurt am Main, Germany under number HRB 7500 (CBF) and Clearstream Banking, société anonyme, registered office at 42, avenue John F. Kennedy, L-1855 Luxembourg, and registered with the Luxembourg Register of Commerce and Companies under number B-9248 (CBL). However, the tax duties under the UCITS-IV transformation act refer primarily to Clearstream Banking AG, it being registered in Frankfurt am Main.
2. Available at
3. KESt, Solz and KiSt are deducted in cash from the fund’s capital so that the intrinsic value of the fund’s units is reduced but non-German investors and German customers not subject to church tax must get the withdrawn KiSt back from the fund’s capital.

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A12140 Associated documentszip627 kB