The Federal Constitutional Court ruled in 2008 that freelancers do not have to pay any trade tax. Then why the advance of the Greens?
Oesingmann: The requirement to include freelancers in the trade tax has been part of their election program for long time. From my point of view, the move is pointless, especially since the commission set up by the federal government to reorganize municipal finances is currently working on proposals for this area.
Many expect local authorities to create attractive settlement conditions. How does that fit with the idea of collecting business tax from doctors?
Oesingmann: That doesn't fit at all. Given the shortage of doctors, many regions have to be happy when doctors settle down. A trade tax would be counterproductive. The Greens claim that trade tax payments can be offset against income tax liability. Only: Each municipality can determine the rate of assessment for the trade tax itself. A rate over 380 would put an additional burden on freelancers. In large cities in particular, the rates sometimes reach up to 500. It would be appropriate if the municipalities changed their spending structures instead of talking about additional burdens for citizens.
Does the Federal Association of Liberal Professions have any suggestions regarding the financial problems of the municipalities?
Oesingmann: No, the liberal professions already make their contribution through income tax. Incidentally, let's wait and see what the Reform Commission will present. It can contain elements that we endorse.
The questions asked by Sabine Rieser.