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Bavarian couple sue German government over reunification tax

Bavarian couple sue German government over reunification tax

A couple in Bavaria are suing Angela Merkel’s government over their tax bill — on the grounds that it is unconstitutional. The couple, who have not been named, are challenging a decision by Mrs Merkel’s government to retain a tax that was supposed to be a short-term measure to pay the costs of German reunification.

A couple in Bavaria are suing Angela Merkel’s government over their tax bill — on the grounds that it is unconstitutional.

The couple, who have not been named, are challenging a decision by Mrs Merkel’s government to retain a tax that was supposed to be a short-term measure to pay the costs of German reunification.

Almost 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Germans still face a 5.5 per cent surcharge on their annual income tax bills to pay the cost of raising living standards in the former communist East to match the rest of the country.

The Solidarity Surcharge, or “Soli” as it is popularly known, amounts to an extra €487 (£441) on the tax bill of some one earning €50,000 (£45,000) a year.

It was originally introduced for a year in 1991 to pay the unexpected costs of reunification and the Gulf War, and was reintroduced in 1995 to pay the ongoing costs of reunification.



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