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Remission – late payment penalties – punctual taxpayers

If tax payments (e.g. for the assessment or advance payment of income or corporate income tax) are not made on time, late payment penalties “automatically” arise – solely due to the passage of time; these generally amount to 1% of the rounded down overdue tax amount for each month or part thereof.

If the tax amount is paid by bank transfer, late payment penalties are not levied if the due date (usually the 10th of a month in the case of advance payments) is only exceeded by up to 3 days (so-called grace period); the decisive factor is when the amount is credited to the tax authority’s account.

A special feature applies to due date taxes (e.g. advance VAT return, income tax return): Here, late payment penalties are not assessed before the return is submitted.

If the due date or the end of the 3-day grace period falls on a Saturday, Sunday or a public holiday, the respective dates concerned shall be postponed to the following working day (Section 240 in conjunction with Section 108 (3) AO).

The tax office can (partially) waive late payment surcharges if levying them would be “inequitable” (§ 227 AO). This may be the case, for example, if punctual payment was not possible due to sudden illness or in the event of insolvency or economic bottlenecks.

However, a waiver of late payment penalties may also be considered if the missed deadline is due to an obvious oversight and the taxpayer is otherwise a “punctual” taxpayer. It should be noted, however, that a taxpayer who “continuously” takes advantage of the aforementioned 3-day grace period is not considered a timely payer for purposes of this provision.

Thus, if payment is made after the due date but within the grace period, no late payment penalties will be assessed; however, any use of the grace period may reduce the taxpayer’s eligibility for remission – even in the case of only once exceeding the deadline.


(Further comments & information on this can be found in our information letter 05/2018 under the item 5.)