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Dispute with Baerbock on TV: tax advisor now explains his allegations - that's how the Greens answer

2021-09-15T03:46:54.981Z

A dispute over the green wealth tax came to an abrupt end on ARD. The questioner from the election arena explains his allegations on Merkur.de - the party replies.



A dispute over the green wealth tax came to an abrupt end on ARD.

The questioner from the election arena explains his allegations on Merkur.de - the party replies.

Berlin - Much of the federal election campaign revolves around private matters, missteps and mistakes by the candidates for chancellor. Last week in the ARD “Wahlarena” there was no longer enough time to clarify a medium-sized question of direction: A viewer confronted Green candidate Annalena Baerbock with what at first glance might seem astonishing - the property tax proposed by the party could be countless smaller ones and depriving middle entrepreneurs of their retirement savings, he warned. After a brief exchange of arguments, the airtime was over.

In an interview with

Merkur.de

, the tax advisor and auditor has now

explained again

what Rolf Markfort - the name of the questioner comes from the Westphalian language -

was once again

about

: On the one hand, he actually sees a cushion of peace for old age in danger.

On the other hand, as he emphasized on the phone, Markfort was concerned with very fundamental considerations: with incentives for economic activity - and with recognition for corporate responsibility.

Our editorial team also gave the Greens the opportunity to make a detailed reply.

They defended the tax plans - and referred to some special rules that had been proposed.

Baerbock's wealth tax: Greens dispute in the ARD - tax advisor calmly explains his concerns

According to the election program of the Greens, the wealth tax should take effect from two million euros per person. Smaller companies are also "very, very quick to join", Markfort had explained in the program. Now he made his statement more precise: Last but not least, he was looking at privately owned property values, that is, apart from business assets that the Greens want to protect. “As an entrepreneur, you have no statutory pension insurance. And there is a problem: there is negative interest on account balances. You can make stocks, of course, but there is always the risk of a crash. You are almost forced to invest in real estate, ”he said.

However, as the expert at Munich University LMU, Deborah Schanz,

explained

in an interview with

Merkur.de

,

these must be

assessed according to the current market value.

In view of the current real estate prices, especially in large cities, the value of two million euros was quickly reached.

“Of course, two million euros is a lot of money,” admitted Markfort.

Nonetheless, property owners in retirement, in particular, could rapidly reduce their income from rents through a wealth tax: In addition, there would be income tax - the assessment of which the wealth tax is not offset against - and other taxes; in the end, around four fifths of annual income could go to the tax authorities.

Bundestag election: Greens demand wealth tax - tax advisors fear for appreciation

The auditor also referred to another problem he had personally experienced: Small and medium-sized entrepreneurs in particular often used private assets to “keep the company running” or to vouch for themselves, he explained. He is familiar with the case of a company that accepted a loss of one million euros during the Corona crisis in order to keep all 80 employees. "That is the 'mistake' - in quotation marks - that these people often make, a corporation is tough."

On the one hand, private assets are an important buffer in this regard. On the other hand, in an interview with

Merkur.de

, Markfort found that entrepreneurs must also receive compensation for this economic responsibility

. At the same time he expressed the fear that the richest Germans would not pay any wealth tax at all: "They simply transfer their money to Austria - free movement of capital," he said dryly.

The Green Party headquarters could not be reached for a reply. For the faction of the party, however, the Bavarian member of the Bundestag Stefan Schmidt replied. The financial politician defended the wealth tax in general: Germany needed a “new economic awakening” after Corona - with investments in education, digitization and climate protection. Particularly wealthy people should be held responsible for this, explained Schmidt - the wealth tax should flow into the state coffers for education: “Education is the best investment of all. As a state and society, we have to think long-term just as much as companies do. ”He turned

to Markfort directly on

the individual points of criticism via

Merkur.de

:

Green answer after ARD “election arena”: This is what the wealth tax should look like in concrete terms

Topic buffer in private assets for business expenses:

"The special role and responsibility of medium-sized and family businesses" must "of course be taken into account", explained Schmidt.

In terms of an upcoming wealth tax, the federal states are responsible.

At the same time, there are clear prerequisites for the introduction of the tax: The corona crisis must first be completely overcome.

In addition, "substance taxation" must be prevented, "ie tax payments in years in which the companies do not make any profits".

Topic of incentive and appreciation for corporate responsibility:

"Thank you very much for the responsibility that entrepreneurs * took on for their region and their employees during the Corona crisis" - especially those who topped up short-time allowance from their own resources, stressed Schmidt.

The aim of the Greens is to support the build-up of equity: "Companies that leave profits in their own company instead of withdrawing them should be better off from a tax perspective." expand and stretch over several years.

For pandemic years we want to make the losses carried back over 4 years. "

+

The Green MP Stefan Schmidt in the Bundestag (archive picture).

© Christian Spicker / www.imago-images.de

The topic of melting income from retired property owners:

"Self-employed people who have built up a funded old-age provision may not be disadvantaged compared to people who are entitled to a statutory pension or a civil servant's pension," replied Schmidt on Markfort's model calculation for the "entrepreneur widow".

The Green named “separate allowances” as possible ways.

In any case, the proposed high allowance of two million euros "ensures that higher pension assets would also be covered".

A

home of your own

Even in a very good location, wealth taxes would not be incurred.

If one were to orientate oneself to the inheritance tax as requested by the Greens, speculative price increases would not take effect either.

Schmidt also stated: "We are always open to meaningful suggestions."

Subject of tax evasion by owners of large fortunes:

"We want to combat tax evasion effectively," said the Upper Palatinate Schmidt, repeating a well-known demand from Baerbock.

As concrete steps, he named improved transparency in "constructions such as companies, trusts and foundations" and a strengthening of the financial administration including a special unit for "particularly important tax cases".

So far, the tax offices of the federal states are "often hopelessly inferior to the large tax firms of corporations and wealthy private individuals". 

Annalena Baerbock in the election arena: Questioner also sees open questions in the Green competition

At the same time, it should be noted that the tax advisor, who was not well known on TV, did not only have the Greens in his sights with regard to the wealth tax.

"You can also take Mr. Scholz or someone from the left," he explained to

Merkur.de in

retrospect.

In terms of the financial feasibility of large state projects, which he also criticized in the “election arena”, one would also have to “ask the CDU just as well”.

At the same time, there have been omissions in terms of old-age provision for decades - all government parties have overslept to build a capital fund, for example.

Now a “non-partisan consensus” is needed.

Annalena Baerbock's answer did not upset him: “That is generally the case, the politicians just turn it around so that they talk down their program.” In general, at the moment of his question he was “a little loaded” when thinking about the state of pension provision and budget planning explained Markfort.

Incidentally, the Westphalian also made it clear that the accusation expressed here and there on social media that the ARD had quickly canceled the broadcast due to the sensitive issue was not true.

“The broadcast time was known beforehand,” he said, “the time constraint was foreseeable:“ I checked the clock myself before asking the question.

The show was over. "(

Fn

)

Left slide or traffic light - you can find out what's coming after election day in our politics newsletter.

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2021-09-15

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