Act to further strengthen civic engagement

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Basic data
Title: Act to further strengthen civic engagement
Abbreviation: BüEnStG
Type: Federal law
Scope: Federal Republic of Germany
Legal matter: Tax law
Issued on: October 10, 2007
( BGBl. I p. 2332 )
Entry into force on: predominantly January 1, 2007
Please note the note on the applicable legal version.

The law to further strengthen civic engagement , also known as charitable reform, is an article law that retroactively from January 1, 2007 improves the framework conditions for charitable activities in Germany. To this end, appropriate adjustments are made in various tax laws.


There were many changes in detail; this includes u. a. the following:

  • The maximum limit for the deduction as special expenses was increased to 20% of income, whereby the distinction between beneficiary classes according to funding purposes, which previously had different maximum limits of 5% or 10%, no longer applies.
  • The tax-free allowance for income from exercise leader activity ( exercise leader flat rate , § 3 No. 26 EStG ) was increased from 1,848 € to 2,100 €.
  • Income from part- time activities in the service or on behalf of a public or non-profit body (e.g. as a functionary, equipment manager, etc.) remains tax-free up to € 500 / year.
  • Membership fees for development associations are tax-deductible as special expenses ( Section 10b (1) sentence 2 EStG).


A study commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Finance examined the short-term effects of the law on donation behavior and civic engagement in the period from 2005/2006 to 2008.

There are contradicting results for the development of the number of donors and the volume of donations. A time series from the German Donation Monitor shows a decrease in the volume of donations, while two others, those from the GfK Charity Scope and the German Central Institute for Social Issues , show a slight increase. These results may be influenced by the 2007 financial crisis , which many organizations cite as the reason for a decline in donations. The changes were also still little known, only around 16% of the donors surveyed knew about the new tax-privileged maximum funding rates.

Among the organizations, foundations in particular have benefited significantly from the amendment to the law, the rate of start-ups increased, especially in 2007 it was very clear at + 24%. For non-profit organizations , the result is subdued. The goal of reducing bureaucracy was not achieved with the law until 2008.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Synopsis on § 10b EStG from 01.01.2007., accessed on February 8, 2014 .
  2. German Central Institute for Social Issues (Ed.): Evaluation of the effects of the law to further strengthen civic engagement. Empirical investigation of the developments in the regulatory area, especially regarding donations . July 2009, p. 113–115 ( [PDF]).