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Germany Introduces Windfall Tax on Electricity Producers — Orbitax Tax News & Alerts

Germany published the Law to introduce an electricity price brake and to change other energy law provisions in the Official Gazette on 23 December 2022, which provides for the introduction of several electricity-related relief measures, as well as a windfall tax on electricity producers. The tax is applied by "skimming" off the surplus revenue of electricity producers through a 90% tax on revenue exceeding prescribed rates per kilowatt hour. The prescribed rates vary depending on the nature of the production, including renewable energy (wind, solar), nuclear energy, and production from lignite, mineral oil, biogas, and waste wood, as well as other factors.

The 90% tax applies in relation to electricity generated in Germany after 30 November 2022 and before 1 July 2023. By 31 May 2023, the government will review the need for an extension of the tax to 30 April 2024, at the latest. Several types of producers are excluded from the tax, including those generating electricity exclusively or predominantly on the basis of light heating oil, liquid gas, natural gas, biomethane, hard coal, furnace gas, blast furnace gas, coke oven gas, or special gases from production processes in the chemical industry and the carbon black industry. Exclusions also apply for smaller plants with an output of up to 1 megawatt and certain other cases.

Payment of the tax is due by the 15th day of the fifth month following the billing period 1 December 2022 to 31 March 2023 and, from 1 April 2023, following each quarter.

Germany has also published a separate Law on price relief for natural gas and heat.