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German Federal Council Approves Fourth Corona Tax Aid Act — Orbitax Tax News & Alerts

On 10 June 2022, the German Federal Council (upper house of parliament - Bundesrat) approved the Fourth law for the implementation of tax aid measures to cope with the COVID-19 crisis (the so-called "Fourth Corona Tax Aid Act"). The law was approved by the German Bundestag (lower house of parliament) on 19 May 2022. It will enter into force the day after it is published in the Official Gazette.

Some of the key measures were approved without change from the government draft of the law, including:

  • The extension of the accelerated depreciation for movable business assets provided for 2020 and 2021, so that it is also available for assets purchased or manufactured in 2022, which includes the application of a declining-balance method with depreciation rates equal to 2.5 times the regular straight-line depreciation rates, capped at 25%;
  • The extension of the increased loss carryback relief to the end of 2023, which includes an increase in the maximum carryback amount to EUR 10 million or EUR 20 million for 2022 and 2023, with the loss carryback period also extended to two years from 2022; and
  • The extension of the pre-acquisition investment deduction for smaller businesses and the time limits for reinvestment of tax-free reserves by an additional year.

Another important measure is the further extension of annual tax return deadlines for returns prepared by tax advisors, but with additional extensions provided in the approved law as compared to the government draft. For returns prepared by tax advisors, the extensions are as follows:

  • 2020 tax year - 31 August 2022 (6-month extension)
  • 2021 tax year- 31 August 2023 (6-month extension)
  • 2022 tax year- 31 July 2024 (5-month extension)
  • 2023 tax year - 31 May 2025 (3-month extension)
  • 2024 tax year - 30 April 2026 (2-month extension)

Extensions are also provided to a lesser extent for returns not prepared by an advisor for the 2020 to 2023 tax years.