Final withholding tax

Withholding tax on investment income such as interest, dividends, and realized capital gains.

The final withholding tax is a fixed, flat tax rate for all capital gains, which is levied as a withholding tax regardless of the investor's personal income tax rate, in contrast to the assessment procedure. In most cases the final withholding tax is deducted at source anonymously by the credit institute or the bank managing the investor's portfolio.

With the final withholding tax, all income taxes payable on realized capital gains are paid in full.

Numerous EU member states introduced a final withholding tax system for capital gains, in many cases registering only interest and dividends. Some countries, including Germany, in addition, tax the increase in value of the capital assets using the final withholding tax.

Since 2009, the final withholding tax rate in Germany is 25 percent, or 26.375 percent including the solidarity surcharge. Depending on the investor's personal situation there may also a church tax applicable. Under the reform, the tax exemption after a one year holding period has been abolished. However, securities purchased before the due date are subject to grandf+G14athering, so that capital gains realized when selling them today are exempt from the final withholding tax.

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