Short-time working is the lifeline for millions of workers and their employers in the pandemic. Many of those affected will likely have to pay significant back taxes.
Berlin (dpa) – Short-time workers are threatened with additional tax claims, although the short-term benefit is itself tax-free.
As the federal government announced in response to a request from the left in the Bundestag, the tax authorities will collect 1.6 billion euros for the 2020 tax year through the so-called progression condition for short-time working. The dpa has the answer. This reservation means that the working time allowance increases the tax rate on the regular wages and other income of the employees.
Short-term work should also be the focus of a joint action by Federal Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) and Federal Labor Office Chairman Detlef Scheele on Friday. Both want to take stock of “One year Corona” in terms of labor market policy. According to Scheele, short-time working creates large-scale employment and prevents unemployment.
Between February 1 and February 24, the Federal Agency received notifications of short-time working for 500,000 people. In December, 2.39 million people received short-time working benefits. The peak was reached in April last year with nearly six million people.
Last year, discussions had already been held for months on whether the so-called follow-through condition for short-time working should be suspended before 2020. That this did not happen was justified in the coalition with justice to other workers.
Left-wing MP Sabine Zimmermann assumes that workers with a reduced working time are threatened with an addition of several hundred euros per person. The progression condition also applies to unemployment benefits. However, the federal government was unable to provide information about the associated additional tax revenues.
Zimmermann criticized: “Anyone receiving short-time working benefits has already suffered a significant loss of income.” Zimmermann told the DPA that there is now a risk of additional tax assessments. She called for the abolition of the progression condition for short-time working.
The Federal Treasury points out that taking a temporary benefit does not automatically lead to additional tax payments. That depends, for example, on the tax class, the payroll tax deduction before Corona or any other income. “If tax-free short-time working benefits are received almost exclusively, subject to progression, then no tax is required.”
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