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Government launches tax package to promote e-cars

Date: 2019-07-31
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The Federal Government wants to launch a billion-dollar tax package to promote electromobility. The aim is to boost the sales of electric cars. The cabinet wants to pass a bill on Wednesday. Specifically, it is about special write-offs for electric delivery vehicles and an extension of a tax privilege for electric cars as company cars. In addition, tax improvements for job tickets are planned.

Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) had already announced that he wanted to promote electric cars government longer than previously planned. Although new registrations of e-cars have increased recently, they are still at a low level. Greater promotion of e-mobility is also part of the Federal Government's efforts to improve climate protection. According to reports, the ministry expects billions in tax revenue for federal, state and local governments over the next ten years due to tax subsidies for e-mobility.

Since the beginning of 2019, employees who use their e-car privately as a company car have a special arrangement. Instead of taxing one per cent of the list price per month as a pecuniary advantage, a halved rate of 0.5 per cent applies to electric and hybrid vehicles. This regulation expires at the end of 2021. Hybrid cars combine an electric drive with an internal combustion engine. The company car special scheme is now to be extended until 2030. This should increase planning security.

Scholz told the newspapers of the spark media group (Wednesday) that promotion of company cars was a 'real industrial policy' in favor of the climate. 'We are also doing this so that more electric vehicles can get into the used-car market faster.'

For e-cars as company cars, the regulation was considered financially unattractive before the beginning of 2019 because of higher initial costs for the electric vehicles. The tax incentives have already had an impact, albeit at a manageable level: According to the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), new registrations of electric cars increased by 58 percent in the first half of the year to around 16,900 passenger cars. Scandals continue mainly diesel vehicles.

The VDA welcomed the extension of the tax incentives for electric cars: 'Precisely because our companies are launching many new e-models in the coming years, the extension of the existing special scheme will have a positive effect on the demand for e-cars.' Company car played a pioneering role in the ramp-up of electromobility. They would come after two to three years as offers on the used car market and would then usually acquired by private owners.

In addition to extending the tax incentives for electric cars as company cars, the Ministry of Finance is planning further measures to boost sales. From 2020 to 2030 there will be a special depreciation for the purchase of new, purely electric powered delivery vehicles. This should amount to a one-time 50 percent of the acquisition costs and thus complement the regular depreciation option. The special depreciation should apply only to commercially used electric delivery vehicles and is limited to small and medium-sized utility or delivery vehicles.

Also to be extended tax benefits of dienststrädern. The free use of a service bicycle for private purposes has been tax-free for the employee since 2019. This is limited until the end of 2021 and should be extended until the end of 2030.

In order to make more use of public transport such as buses and trains, Scholz is also planning tax improvements for the job ticket. A new lump-sum taxation without crediting the distance charge is planned. The new option is intended to give the employer the opportunity to increase the acceptance of job tickets.

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