Day of the German Family Business: Tax plans of the opposition not only lead to the disappropriation of employers,  but also employees
Munich, 07.06.2013

Day of the German Family Business: Tax plans of the opposition not only lead to the disappropriation of employers, but also employees

In total, the flat tax, inheritance tax and wealth tax demanded by the opposition mean that a business owner can surrender annually almost four times as much to the treasury as it earns in revenue.

Prof. Brun-Hagen Hennerkes, Director of the Foundation for Family Businesses calls these plans of the SPD, the Greens and the Left Party to introduce a wealth tax or duty „an attack on Germany’s industrial base“. In his welcoming speech at today‘s „Day of the German Family Business“ in Berlin, he cites results of a previously unpublished scientific study. The Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) in Mannheim has investigated on behalf of the Foundation for Family Businesses how flat rate withholding tax, inheritance tax and wealth tax collude in their burden.

„The result is staggering. Suppose that a business person owns shares in a capital market company. He or she would have to deliver almost four times his or her annual income to the tax authorities in order to pay the combined burden of the flat rate withholding tax, inheritance tax and a wealth tax of 1.5 percent“, said Hennerkes. With a wealth tax of 1 percent he or she would still have to pay tax of two and a half times the amount that flows back to the owner.

Hennerkes added: „I ask myself the question: Who invests in these circumstances in an apartment, a factory or a production machine? Both sides are being expropriated, not only the employer but also the employee.“

He continued: „The last few years have shown that Germany with its fair and reasonably competitive tax rates has always been able to reach new highs in tax revenue. Why is there then a need to invent new taxes and take the risk that companies could be destroyed and that the finance minister’s tax income might be lacking more than a few Euros?“

More than 350 representatives from among the leading family businesses in Germany have come to this event in Berlin to engage in direct dialogue with political leaders. Speakers include inter alia German Chancellor Angela Merkel, her challenger, SPD chancellor candidate Peer Steinbrück, as well as Dr. Philipp Rösler, Minister of Economic Affairs.

The second event will be opened with a debate between the former chairman of the Left Party, Oskar Lafontaine, and the CSU Member and opponent of the euro rescue, Dr. Peter Gauweiler. They are debating whether Europe needs more or less integration. In conclusion, Franz Fehrenbach, chairman of the Supervisory Board of Robert Bosch GmbH, will lecture about the current political situation in Germany.

The non-profit Foundation for Family Businesses has three main objectives: promoting the exchange of family business people, supporting research activities and institutions that deal with this particular type of company, and improving the perception of the family business in politics and the wider public. In addition, the Foundation is the point of contact for policy makers to address the specific needs of this type of company in legal, tax and economic policy issues.

For more information:

Hartmut Kistenfeger

Head of Communications and Programs

Stiftung Familienunternehmen
Prinzregentenstraße 50, D-80538 Munich

Phone: +49 (0) 89 / 12 76 400 06
Fax: +49 (0) 89 / 12 76 400 09

E-Mail: kistenfeger(at)

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