Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) has spoken out against the excess profits tax on additional profits from oil companies from the Ukraine war. “I can only warn about populism at this point,” Lindner said on Tuesday in Berlin. “We don’t know if there are excess gains.”
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Tax increases may lead to a shortage of the pump. The shortage will then lead to an increase in prices even more.”
The SPD politicians and the Greens implemented such an additional tax due to the additional increase in energy prices. SPD leader Lars Klingbeil told Funke Media Group newspapers that it could not be that the mineral oil companies “fill their pockets more in the crisis”.
Green Party leader Ricarda Lange told Tagespiegel: “We have been noticing the separation of crude oil prices and gas station prices for months. Few are benefiting, while a large number of medium-sized companies are suffering from high energy prices and wondering how they will continue next year. It will be a tax Excess profits are a logical step.”
Lindner warns of ‘arbitrary tax increases’
There are differences of opinion in the Traffic Lights Coalition about an additional tax on the additional profits of oil companies from the Ukraine war. Senior FDP politicians warned on Tuesday of a so-called excess profit tax.
“The continuing demands for new taxes from the Social Democratic Party and the Green Party are shocking and are on the same level as the Left Party,” Secretary-General Bijan Geir Saray told dpa.
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“There is a huge risk that the opposite of what the advocates want come true,” Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner said. His concern is that an “arbitrary tax increase” for one industry will eventually make things more expensive in Germany. The cartel office should check what’s going on at the pump.
The tax rebate is not fully passed to consumers
In fact, despite the tax cut that has been in effect since the beginning of the month, there is no indication of any significant easing in fuel prices. Although E10 and diesel prices initially fell from May 31 to June 1, the tax rebate was not fully passed.
Since then, gasoline and diesel prices have risen again. On Tuesday morning, the trend was again slightly bullish, as ADAC announced on demand.
“I totally understand the anger about what’s going on at the pump,” Christian Lindner said. However, responding to the development of the global market with the imposition of an additional tax only in Germany could eventually lead to higher prices at the pump even more. However, this would raise doubts about legal certainty in Germany’s tax system.
Is the excess profit tax justified?
Christian Lindner continued: “Anyone who begins to change the tax code for noble reasons or because they want to get the applause of the day at the table of regular employees will not put the genie back in the bottle.” According to Lindner, he could not “officially” confirm the existence of the so-called excess earnings at all. There are assumptions, but they are also present, for example, in the field of wind energy, solar energy or semiconductors.
Internationally, there are already examples of excess profits tax. The head of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW), Marcel Fratzcher, referred to Italy, among other things. According to a report by the scientific service of the Bundestag, the measure described there as an “exceptional solidarity tax” applies exclusively to companies in the energy sector.
Sales are subject to tax, more precisely the difference in sales from two periods in this year and the previous year. If the company has more than 5 million euros or ten percent more in sales, it has to pay. (dpa)