Photo: Hauke Christian Dittrich / dpa
The EU Commission has submitted alternative proposals to the federal government in order not to burden gas customers in Germany too heavily with the gas surcharge.
The "Frankfurter Allgemeine" reports on a letter from Economics Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni to Lindner, in which he proposes returning the additional VAT revenue directly to households.
In this way, targeted support for "particularly vulnerable" households is possible, the "FAZ" quotes from Gentiloni's letter.
Other options would be transfers to the energy companies so that they can then lower the prices for end consumers, charging the lowest permitted VAT rate of five percent or reducing the gas levy.
With the levy, the federal government wants to relieve gas importers who, because of the restricted deliveries from Russia, have to buy gas elsewhere for a lot of money in order to fulfill their contracts.
From October, 90 percent of these additional costs are to be reimbursed.
The costs for this are distributed to all gas customers by means of a surcharge.
VAT must also be added to this surcharge.
The federal government had hoped to be able to do without it, but the EU Commission rejected it on Tuesday.
A spokesman referred to a corresponding reform of the EU VAT Directive, which was only passed unanimously by the member states last year.
The federal government initially gave no further details.
"We are still in talks with the EU Commission," said a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Finance.
"I can't comment on the individual options today."