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Unpaid use of passenger car by spouse

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The private use of a company car by an employee is subject to a tax simplification rule if no driver’s logbook is kept: The resulting non-cash benefit subject to wage tax and social security contributions is then to be assessed at 1% of the gross list price of the car per month. The 1% rule is a standardized rule that applies regardless of the extent of (actual) private use.

The Federal Fiscal Court

has now dealt with the question of whether (unrestricted) private car use taxable according to the 1% rule is also permissible in the context of a mini-job (marginal employment up to 450 euros per month).

In the case in question, an entrepreneur employed his wife as an office and courier worker within the scope of a mini-job and left her a car for (unrestricted) private use without cost sharing. The employer-spouse credited the imputed income from the private use of the car to the remuneration, whereby in some cases only a small amount was paid out as remuneration.

The Federal Fiscal Court ruled,

that a corresponding remuneration in the form of a car loan does not stand up to an arm’s length comparison. In the opinion of the court, an unrestricted and, moreover, deductible-free transfer of use of a company car for private journeys to a “mini-jobber” from outside the family was unusual. As a rule, an (external) employer would only be prepared to allow an employee the private use of a company car if the costs calculated for this (in particular fuel for private journeys, etc.) plus the cash wage were in reasonable proportion to the value of the work performance. This was not the case in the judgment. Accordingly, the employment relationship was not to be recognized for tax purposes.

(For further comments, information and examples, please refer to our information letter 04/2019).

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

Neumann & Walczak Tax Consultants – 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