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What are advertising costs?

According to Section 9 of the German Income Tax Act (EStG), income-related expenses are expenses incurred to acquire, secure and maintain income. They are to be deducted from the type of income for which they were incurred. This means, among other things, that the expenses must be economically related to the income of the respective type of income (e.g. income from employment). (For the case: Subscription for pay TV or Sky Bundesliga subscription as income-related expenses below in the text).

A distinction must be made in the case of expenses!

A distinction must be made in the case of expenses that are (partly) incurred for both professional and private reasons (so-called mixed expenses):

  • If the private contributory cause is of minor importance (i.e. less than 10%), the expenses can be deducted in full.
  • If the professional reason is of minor importance, the expenses as a whole are not deductible.
  • In the other cases, the mixed expenses are to be divided, if necessary; the professional share is deductible if it can be determined according to objective characteristics or, if necessary, estimated (e.g. according to time, quantity, area shares or number of persons participating).

The dispute was dismissed.

In a recent case, the Federal Fiscal Court further clarified the consideration of mixed expenses. The court clarified that expenses incurred by a soccer coach of a licensed team for a Sky Bundesliga subscription can be deducted as income-related expenses from income from employment if there is actually a professional reason for the expense.

The dispute was referred back to the Tax Court to determine the extent to which the subscription was used for coaching activities and the extent to which it was used for private purposes.

(For further comments, information and examples, please refer to our information letter 07/2019).

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Neumann & Walczak – tax consulting company GmbH – Robert-Bosch-Strasse 1 – 59439 Holzwickede

Neumann Walczak & Partner Tax Consultant and Lawyer – Partnership –
Robert-Bosch-Strasse 1 – 59439 Holzwickede

Website: www.neumann-walczak.de – E-mail: info@neumann-walczak.de

Phone: (0049) 02301 – 91 291 0 – Fax: (0049) 02301 – 91 291 21