Taxes in turnaround – heated exchange between BMF and BFH

After the last attempt by the German Federal Ministry of Finance (“Bundesministerium der Finanzen” (“BMF”)) to limit the effects of a ruling on the so-called “Decree on Turnaround” (“Sanierungserlass”) by the German Federal Tax Court (“Bundesfinanzhof” (BFH)) (here) in relation to old cases had failed brilliantly (here), the Ministry started another attempt to upheld the decree at least for old cases under the principle of the protection of legitimate expectations with a decree as of of 29 March 2018. To no avail.

It did not even take three weeks for the BFH to retaliate: With a decison issued on 16 April 2018, the court simply states: “The repetition of the administrative concept by the BMF letter of 29 March 2018 (BStBl I 2018, 588) does not change this.”

“This”, of course, refers to the (legally binding) opinion expressed in the original decision, where the BFH stated that the BMF lacked the competence to issue the orginal decree on turnaround. Consequentially, the BFH ruled again that the restructuring order was not applicable to old cases.

This means that the BMF’s next attempt to maintain the decree on turnaround, at least for old cases, has failed again. And the Commission is silent on § 3a EStG (see here) …

BFH, decision as of 16. 4. 2018 – X B 13/18
BMF Decree as of 29.3.2018 – IV C 6-S 2140/13/10003

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