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Question About German Departure Tax

Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:06 am

Germany has a tax called ''Luftverkehrsabgabe'' (''departure tax''). It's a distance based tax levied upon all commercial flights originating in Germany. €7,50 for short haul, €23,43 for medium haul and €42,18 for long haul. However, only the first leg of a connecting flight was supposed to be taxed so that FRA-LAX would be taxed with €42,18, FRA-MUC-LAX with €7,50 because the FRA-MUC portion is obviously a short haul flight.

Now I have recently gained access to various booking engines for travel agents and out of nothing more than idle curiousity, looked at the fare breakdowns for various flights. What I noticed is that every flight out of Germany is taxed for the entire length of the flight. HAM-FRA with €7,50, HAM-EWR with €42,18, HAM-FRA-JFK with €42,18 as well.

Can anybody explain to me why?

Preis 1: Airline LH LNN81D1 HAM — FRA (Konditionen)
Passagier ADT, round trip fare, Buchungscode L
Für Strecke(n) HAM-FRA (Economy)
28,50 €
Preis 2: Airline LH LNN81D1 FRAHAM (Konditionen)
Passagier ADT, round trip fare, Buchungscode L
Für Strecke(n) FRA-HAM (Economy)
28,50 €
LH YQ surcharge (YQ) 2,00 €
German Airport Security Tax (DE) 12,09 €
German Passenger Service Charge (RD) 40,46 €
German Air Transport Tax (OY) 17,86 €
German Passenger Service Charge (RD) 0,06 €

Preis pro Passagier 129,47 €
Anzahl Passagiere x1

GESAMTPREIS INKL. STEUERN 129,47 €

Preis 1: Airline UA QLRCDEW HAMEWR (Konditionen)
Passagier ADT, round trip fare, Buchungscode Q
Für Strecke(n) HAM-EWR (Economy)
371,99 €
Preis 2: Airline UA LLNCDEW EWRHAM (Konditionen)
Passagier ADT, round trip fare, Buchungscode L
Für Strecke(n) EWR-HAM (Economy)
119,99 €
USDA APHIS Fee (XA) 3,82 €
US Immigration Fee (XY) 5,35 €
US Customs Fee (YC) 4,20 €
German Airport Security Tax (DE) 3,48 €
German Passenger Service Charge (RA) 10,60 €
German Air Transport Tax (OY) 42,18 €
(YQ) 264,00 €
US International Arrival Tax (US) 12,76 €
German Passenger Service Charge (RA) 0,06 €
US International Departure Tax (US) 12,76 €
US September 11th Security Fee (AY) 1,91 €
US Passenger Facility Charge (XF) 3,44 €

Preis pro Passagier 856,56 €
Anzahl Passagiere x1

GESAMTPREIS INKL. STEUERN 856,56 €

Preis 1: Airline LH ULRCDEW HAMEWR (Konditionen)
Passagier ADT, round trip fare, Buchungscode U
Für Strecke(n) HAM-FRA (Economy), FRA-EWR (Economy)
546,99 €
Preis 2: Airline LH SLNCDEW NYC — HAM (Konditionen)
Passagier ADT, round trip fare, Buchungscode S
Für Strecke(n) EWR-HAM (Economy)
225,00 €
(YQ) 307,00 €
USDA APHIS Fee (XA) 3,82 €
US Immigration Fee (XY) 5,35 €
US Customs Fee (YC) 4,20 €
German Airport Security Tax (DE) 9,86 €
German Passenger Service Charge (RA) 19,22 €
US International Arrival Tax (US) 12,76 €
German Passenger Service Charge (RD) 9,05 €
German Air Transport Tax (OY) 42,18 €
German Passenger Service Charge (RA) 0,06 €
US International Departure Tax (US) 12,76 €
US September 11th Security Fee (AY) 1,91 €
US Passenger Facility Charge (XF) 3,44 €

Preis pro Passagier 1.203,61 €
Anzahl Passagiere x1

GESAMTPREIS INKL. STEUERN 1.203,61 €

http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/bundesrecht/luftvstg/gesamt.pdf
..sick of it. -K. Pilkington.
 
Quokkas
Posts: 1327
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2012 5:51 pm

RE: Question About German Departure Tax

Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:08 am

IIf I understand your question, you are thinking that HAM-FRA-JFK should be taxed at €7,50 for short haul as the first sector is HAM-FRA and that the connecting flight should be untaxed?

This is not what is a stated in the explanatory document attached. In all circumstances, the tax is levied on the final destination of the passenger [Zielort].

Where a connection within Germany is necessary that domestic connection [Zwischenlandung] is exempt and the tax is levied on the final destination of the passenger and not simply to the transfer point, so HAM-FRA-JFK is taxed at the same rate as if there were a direct flight HAM-JFK.

The only time you would pay both the €7,50 for short haul and the €23,43 for medium haul or €42,18 for long haul is where there is a transit stop exceeding 12 hours for countries listed in appendix 1 or more than 24 hours for other countries not listed in appendix 1. In such case each flight would be considered as separate flights and the tax would be levied on each at the appropriate rate.

[Edited 2012-12-06 17:18:48]
“Not to laugh, not to cry, not to hate, but understand.” Spinoza
 
PanHAM
Posts: 8531
Joined: Fri May 06, 2005 6:44 pm

RE: Question About German Departure Tax

Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:12 am

On the first example, the round trip, the charge is e 7,50 x 2 = € 15,00 plus VAT € 2,86 = € 17,86
If the portion HAM/FRA is part of a journey outside Germany the whole flight is not subject to VAT.



For the other 2 examples you just pay for the long distance part, as already explained.
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Topic Author
Posts: 1239
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 5:29 pm

RE: Question About German Departure Tax

Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:01 pm

Thanks you two. I was very convinced to have read somewhere that only the first leg of a multi-stop itinerary was taxed under this law. The law (linked) doesn't say that, but I was entirely sure to have read that somewhere.

I also find it funny that you pay sales tax on the tax.

Again, thanks a lot!
..sick of it. -K. Pilkington.

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