Association of Taxpayers Germany

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Association of Taxpayers Germany
legal form non-profit registered association
founding 1949
Seat Berlin ( coordinates: 52 ° 31 ′ 20.8 ″  N , 13 ° 22 ′ 40.2 ″  E )
purpose Reduction of bureaucracy , tax waste and national debt
Chair Pure wooden nail
sales 1,607,169 euros (2018)
Employees 15 (2019)
Members 230,000 (2018)
The debt clock of the Federation of Taxpayers shows its survey of the national debt of Germany on July 29, 2006
Debt clock in Wiesbaden with debt reduction in October 2018
The debt clock of the Federation of Taxpayers shows its forecast of Germany's national debt on March 24, 2019
Debt clock Wiesbaden on May 3, 2020

The Association of Taxpayers Germany e. V. ( BdSt ) is a registered association that was founded in 1949.

The association names the lowering of taxes and duties as well as the reduction of bureaucracy , tax waste and national debt as its goals .

Idea and foundation

At the end of the 1920s, the owner of the Darmstädter und Nationalbank (Danat-Bank for short), Jakob Goldschmidt , wanted to set up a taxpayer initiative with leading industrialists, including Robert Bosch , Gustav Krupp von Bohlen and Halbach and Karl Adolf Tilo Freiherr von Wilmowsky . This was based on a study by the financial scientist Günter Schmölders on the Swedish taxpayer movement and its transferability to Germany. However, this initiative was not established. Günter Schmölders succeeded the finance scientist Karl Bräuer as a professor at the University of Breslau in 1932 .

In 1949 Karl Bräuer and the Berlin tax advisor Hermann Wunderlich received permission from the allied military government of the state of Württemberg-Baden to set up a taxpayer organization at state level. Another co-founder was the business editor of the “ Stuttgarter ZeitungE. Heinrich Kunze . On October 21, 1949, the “Bund der Steuerpayers Württemberg-Baden e. V. “founded. A little later, regional associations in the other countries of the three western occupation zones and the “Presidium of the Federation of Taxpayers” followed. V. “as an umbrella organization. Its first president was Karl Bräuer and held this position until 1960. The Karl Bräuer Prize awarded in 1957 and the Karl Bräuer Institute founded in 1965 (now the German Taxpayers Institute ) were named after him.


The registered association is in its Constitution nonpartisan, independent and non-profit . According to its own information, the association had around 230,000 members in 2018. In 2000 there were around 426,000 members and in 2010 around 310,000 members. This makes the BdSt the largest taxpayer organization in the world. Besides membership fees and donations, he has no other sources of income. It consists of 15 independent regional associations, which are based on the German federal states , and has its own financial research institute with the German Taxpayers Institute, which was called the Karl-Bräuer-Institut (KBI) until 2013 . The federal government is entered in the lobby register of the German Bundestag .

The BdSt indicates that its members from 60 to 70 percent of enterprises of industrial middle class exist, the other members are in their majority individuals.

The association is based in Berlin . The previous presidents of the BdSt were:

  1. 1949–1950 Hermann Wunderlich (1900–1974)
  2. 1950–1961 Karl Bräuer (1881–1964)
  3. 1961–1971 Volkmar Muthesius (1900–1979)
  4. 1971–1982 Willy Haubrichs (1911–1982)
  5. 1982–1992 Armin Feit (1927–2012)
  6. 1992–1994 Susanne Tiemann (* 1947)
  7. 1994–2012 Karl Heinz Däke (* 1943)

Reiner Holznagel (* 1976) has been President since 2012 . There are four vice presidents.


Every autumn, the BdSt publishes Public Waste as a black book . The association regularly accuses the public sector of misinvesting billions of euros every year. Its figures are based on the estimates of the SAIs, which assume that up to 95 percent of all public investments are made correctly. Conversely, the BdSt assumes a waste of 5 to 10 percent, which currently corresponds to a sum of around 30 billion euros.

However, when asked about this number when the 2006 Federal Audit Office was presented, the then President of the Federal Audit Office replied that he could not understand the figure in any way, that he considered the BdSt's estimate to be dubious, as it did not publish its calculation bases, and that the Federal Audit Office was leaving around 2.2 billion. The Federal Audit Office generally criticizes the extrapolated figures and inadequate supporting documents used in the Black Book.

The membership magazine Der Steuerzahler appears monthly with a circulation of 450,000 copies. At the entrance of its headquarters, the association published on the debt clock its estimate (government debt last year + an estimated expected borrowing for the current year) of the national debt of Germany .

Model proceedings and other activities

The BdSt supports a number of model proceedings . In doing so, the association is particularly against what it believes to be illegal and unjustified tax changes or laws. One of the best-known proceedings is the lawsuit against the abolition of the distance lump sum . On December 9, 2008, the judges of the Federal Constitutional Court ruled the plaintiff supported by the association (Az. 2 BvL 1/07).

From 1957 to 2011, the Association of Taxpayers awarded the Karl Bräuer Prize every three years for outstanding journalistic and scientific work on the German public sector. He also proclaims the taxpayer commemoration day every year .

The regional association in Saxony awards the Schleudersachsen every year for wasting taxpayers' money. The state association for Bremen and Lower Saxony awards the journalists' prize Die Spitze Feder .


In a study by the union -related Hans Böckler Foundation it is shown that the BdSt does not represent a representative image of the tax-paying population. The membership structure affects the political demands of the taxpayers' association: a lean state and low tax rates. This assessment is in line with the findings that a study for the youth work and policy department on the IG Metall board had already gained six months earlier. Wolfgang Lieb (SPD) describes the studies of the BdSt as “hostile to the social welfare state”, Kai Eicker-Wolf and Patrick Schreiner accuse the federal government of using the name “fraudulent labeling”, Karl Weiss threw manipulation of the federal government in April 2010 in the Berlin Umschau Statistics before.

The claim of the Federation of Taxpayers to represent the interests of all taxpayers is also described by the political scientist and SPD member Peter Lösche as "part of a PR strategy". From the membership composition mainly medium-sized entrepreneurs and freelancers are represented in the federal government; in terms of its programmatic orientation, it converges with the FDP . Lösche criticizes a cooperation with the Hamburg-Mannheimer Versicherung as well as the level of the salaries of the former President Karl Heinz Däke : By splitting them into three different salaries (as President of the Federal Association, as President of the Karl-Bräuer-Institute and as a board member of the Association of Taxpayers in NRW), Däke disguises his total income of 187,000 euros.

In addition, according to Thomas Trares, the BdSt constructs economically uncommon parameters with which he suggests the greatest possible tax burden.

Der Spiegel accused the taxpayers' association of “denouncing scandals that all too often turned out to be scandals that had alsobeen copied from the reports of the Court of Auditors”.

According to observers, the taxpayers' association, contrary to its name, does not represent the interests of all taxpayers, but only those of the rich. This conclusion was reached, among other things, because 22% of the readers of the members' magazine have a net household income of more than 5,000 euros per month, compared to only 8% of the population. SPD representatives also expressed the view that the association primarily conducts interest politics for the wealthy and the wealthy.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Association of Taxpayers - Imprint .
  2. Schmölders, 1983, 27
  3. Kunze / Schelle, 1977, 18 ff.
  4. Enrico Schöbel, Political Participation as Association Work : Association of Taxpayers between Member Interests and the Common Good, University of Erfurt , ISSN  1610-9198
  5. ^ Professor catalog of the University of Leipzig - The professors database for Leipzig .
  6. Annual review 2018. Retrieved on October 25, 2019 .
  7. ^ Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung : "Creeping loss of meaning": The members run away from the taxpayers' association . August 3, 2008
  8. a b Spiegel: “They made themselves unbelievable” , October 28, 2010
  9. Peter Lösche: "Associations and lobbyism in Germany." Kohlhammer 2007. P. 58.
  10. A kind of secret science , Der Spiegel, 45/1949, November 3, 1949; Eike Möller (Red.): Those who pay taxes want to be thrifty. 50 years of the taxpayers' union. Association of Tax Payers, Wiesbaden [1999], pp. 27, 31 and 34 (with pictures of the presidents Wunderlich, Bräuer, Muthesius, Haubrichs, Feit and Tiemann)
  11. Karl Brauer , , as of July 20, 1964
  12. Volkmar Muthesius ,, as of September 24, 1979
  13. Willy Haubrichs , Der Spiegel, 18/1982, May 3, 1982; Who is who? XX. Edition, Schmidt-Römhild, Lübeck 1979, p. 460
  14. Feit, Armin ,, accessed on May 7, 2013
  15. Susanne Tiemann ,, as of November 14, 1994
  16. Karlheinz Däke ,, as of February 12, 2013
  17. Reiner Holznagel ,, as of November 13, 2012
  19. ^ Rudolf Speth: Working paper 161. Taxes, debts and scandals. Who is the Taxpayers Association speaking for? (PDF; 589 kB), July 2008
  20. Andreas Becker: “March separately and beat together”. Who is the Taxpayers Association speaking for? (PDF; 842 kB), December 2007
  21. Wolfgang Lieb: Welfare state hostile , July 10, 2007
  22. Kai Eicker-Wolf and Patrick Schreiner: Whose interests does the Taxpayers Association represent? , January 21, 2011
  23. Berliner Umschau: Taxpayers' Association manipulated. How to extrapolate the 'taxes', April 7, 2010 online version
  24. Peter Lösche: "Associations and lobbyism in Germany." Kohlhammer 2007. P. 58.
  25. Peter Lösche: "Associations and lobbyism in Germany." Kohlhammer 2007. p. 59.
  26. ^ NachDenkSeiten eV: How the taxpayers' association deceives the public - .
  27. Threatening, poisoning, drooling , Der Spiegel, March 26, 2005
  28. Bernd Kramer: Association of Taxpayers: Impossible Lobby . In: The daily newspaper: taz . August 6, 2012, ISSN  0931-9085 ( [accessed June 20, 2020]).
  29. Why Taxpayers Remembrance Day is a deliberate deception. July 15, 2019, accessed June 20, 2020 .