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Under the project name "Gemüsegeld 2018", a tax on home-grown fruit and vegetables is currently being discussed in the Cabinet. The bill, which was drafted by the new Minister of Agriculture Julia Klöckner, apparently already finished in the drawer and is - as usual in unpopular reform projects - brought right at the beginning of the new legislature on the wallpaper.
Ms Klöckner herself was not available for comment on the new self-catering tax. However, government spokesman Steffen Seibert explained the motives for the tax plans on our written request: "The federal government has finally had to react to the trend that more and more people are growing their own fruit and vegetables in their own garden as a self-sufficient home The trend towards so-called urban gardening, which is why retail sales of fruit and vegetables are steadily declining, leading to a loss of tax revenues for the state. "
It is envisaged that every hobby gardener will have to tax all fruits and vegetables that he has grown himself at the standard VAT rate of 19 percent - but only if he actually harvests or utilizes them. On the other hand, if you let your apples rot in the garden, the tax will not be levied. However, a certificate from the competent chamber of agriculture is required for this exemption. She sends a surveyor who assures on-site that the self-produced food has not actually been harvested and is already in a condition that no longer permits proper utilization as food. The appraiser then issues the exemption certificate for the tax return. At the same time, the employees of the Chambers of Agriculture support the tax office as inspectors: they are to carry out unsolicited random checks in home and allotment gardens to determine whether hobby gardeners have duly taxed their harvests.
At present, the staff of the Minister of Agriculture is supposedly already preparing a detailed list, in which so-called assessment prices for tax collection are set for all types of fruit and vegetables. They are based on the average wholesale price per kilogram from the previous year. In order for the tax to be paid off correctly, as in the Middle Ages, a calibrated public balance is to be set up in every town and community. Here the hobby gardeners have to weigh their crop and can then send the tax statement directly by e-mail or have it printed on the spot.
Government spokesman Seibert is optimistic that the new tax will come into force later this year, since after initial soundings in the Bundestag, except for the Greens, no resistance can be expected. Even the black-red dominated Federal Council is likely to wave the bill through.
The editors of MEIN wish all readers a nice April 1st, happy Easter and a tax-free fruit and vegetable harvest!