Solidarity Surcharge (Solidaritaetszuschlag) in Germany

The solidarity surcharge (Solidaritaetszuschlag) is an additional fee on income tax, capital gains tax and corporate tax in Germany. This means that the solidarity surcharge is to be paid by every natural and legal person that owes one of the above-mentioned taxes in Germany.

Why did the German Government come up with that fee (it is not a tax, it is a fee, Lol)? As West and East Germany united, it was clear that the poor communist East Germany could not sustain itself. So the West-German Government decided that every natural and legal person in West-Germany (only) has to pay this fee to help those poor guys in East-Germany. These are the same people who for over 40 years threatened West-Germans, harassed the West-Germans and West-Berliners. Remember Berlin blockade? And now West-Germans have to pay Trillions of Euros to these people to help them rebuild East-Germany. Why did they not rebuild their country after the war during their 40 years in existence? In West-Germany nobody wanted to be united with the East-Germans, but the West-German Government under Chancellor Helmut Kohl did it anyways.

Don’t forget, the German democracy is an “indirect democracy” which basically means that the German Government does whatever it wishes without asking the people it represents what the people desire, the German people are at the mercy of the government and its authorities. The separation of powers, which is the criterion of a rule of law and therefore democracy  has long become a farce in Germany, an illusion. All three branches of government legislative, executive and judicial are determined by the ruling parties. The respective coalition determines the laws, the executive branch is dominated by the ruling parties, the highest judicial positions are negotiated between the parties. The German people have no say in any of these matters.


German politicians are parasites. German politicians are acting out of a sense of pure preservation, stay in place at any cost. It only matters to them their own personal survival. Politicians like Angela Merkel never leave. She is since nine years chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany. The system is not designed to cleanse itself from politicians. They stay and hold on to power beyond the time they should and in so doing bring corruption to everything while they remain. They need to be pushed. In a democratic system the people do the pushing, but in an indirect democracy like in Germany the people cannot push, have no vote, no say. A previous chancellor in Germany, Helmut Kohl, was in office for 16 years. His 16-year tenure was the longest of any German chancellor since Otto von Bismarck. Even Adolf Hitler was only for 12 years chancellor in Germany. In a real democracy such a long tenure would be impossible. It is evident that the political system did not change from Nazi-Germany to West-Germany. Only out of this sense of pure self preservation the enacted the unification of West and East-Germany. There was no vote in West-Germany about the unification (officially the government talks about a RE-unification. As if the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic were ever once one country. They were not! The country both countries emerged from died in May 1945). The politicians in West-Germany just saw the votes of these 22 Million East-Germans in their pockets when they make them over night citizens of the Federal Republic of Germany. Votes which don’t mean shit. Many in Germany did not agree with this course of action but in a pseudo democracy like in Germany these voices were not heard. Therefore the unification and the people in West-Germany had to pay the price for this union in the form of the solidarity surcharge and many more sacrifices. At this point I don’t want to start the discussion that at the time how the unification was enacted was unconstitutional. Again in the name of pure self preservation of the German politicians. Today the politicians rewrote the German constitution, again without voting of the German people, without any input from them.

The solidarity surcharge was introduced in 1991 and was mostly justified by the costs of German unification, but also additional costs for the then Gulf War (Operation Desert Storm) and its consequences as well as support for countries in central, eastern and southern Europe.

For a long time now there has been a controversial discussion in Germany about ending the solidarity surcharge. It has also often been the subject of proceedings before the Federal Financial Court (Bundesfinanzhof) and the Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht), where its constitutionality was always confirmed even with regard to a permanent existence. Since there is no political unity regarding a termination, we should not expect it to be ended soon, although it was introduced as a temporary additional tax.

Now the German Government want to end this fee. They want just simply add this fee to the normal income tax and therefore make it a permanent tax. Once a tax or fee is introduced the Government will never stop charging its people with this tax or fee.

Basis for taxation

The basis for applying the solidarity surcharge is the level of the tax amount to be paid from income, capital gains and corporate tax.

Rate of tax

The solidarity surcharge is 5.50 percent of the tax payment for all taxpayers. The solidarity surcharge has developed as follows in recent years:

Time period Rate
1 July 1991 – 30 June 1992 7.5 %
1 July 1992 – 31 December 1994 0.0%
1995 – 1997 7.5 %
1998 – present 5.5 %

Reporting and payment

There is no special tax return required for reporting and paying the solidarity surcharge to the tax office. This is always done in parallel with the tax type upon which it is charged as an additional tax.

Comments or questions are welcome.

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