Free value transfer

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In German sales tax law, the transfer of an item or service is referred to as a free transfer of value if no consideration has been agreed or the transfer of value takes place in the private sector. Because a delivery or performance generally only subject to VAT when a power exchange takes place, it is for the sake of uniformity of taxation requires that unpaid value fees are taxed in the same way. As a result, the input tax deduction that occurred for the company when the object or the service was purchased is reversed.

History of origin

The free valuation has replaced the previous personal consumption as a taxable event from April 1, 1999. The earlier regulation no longer complied with the requirements of the 6th EC Directive (now: Value Added Tax System Directive) because the self-consumption tax was not linked to the previous right to deduct input tax . The term self-consumption was also not appropriate for value transfers to third parties, such as B. Employees and shareholders .

Forms of free valuation

The German sales tax law distinguishes between free value taxes that are equivalent to a delivery ( Section 3 (1b) UStG) and free value taxes that are equivalent to other services ( Section 3 (9a) UStG). A typical example of the first case is the removal of goods for the private use of the entrepreneur . A typical example of the value tax equivalent to a free other service is the private use of a company car .

The free value transfer is to be distinguished from the income tax term of private withdrawal .

Ratio to input tax deduction

The free value taxes equivalent to a delivery and the value taxes equivalent to any other service in the form of the use of an object require that the expenses associated with the value tax are entitled to input tax deduction. The entitlement to deduct input tax is only not a necessary criterion for value taxes that are equivalent to other services and that do not relate to the use of an object.

The entitlement to deduct input tax requires that the service was obtained for the entrepreneur's business area. However, since free value taxes do not count towards entrepreneurial activity even in the absence of payment, the input tax deduction is to be denied when the service is purchased if it is intended to use it for free value contribution. A free value transfer therefore only arises if the use of an input service for paid output sales was initially intended and it only subsequently emerges that the input services are used for a free value transfer. If it is already clear when the service is purchased that the service is to be provided free of charge, there is no entitlement to input tax deduction, so that in these cases there is no free value transfer.


The assessment (assessment basis) of the free value taxes is regulated by § 10 Paragraph 4 UStG. According to this, the purchase price with ancillary costs or, alternatively, the prime costs are to be set for the deliveries, which are equivalent to value added . In the case of value taxes, which are on an equal footing with other services, the expenses incurred during execution serve as the assessment basis . In the case of value taxes in the form of the use of an object, however, only insofar as the expenses are entitled to input tax deduction. Depreciation is not included according to the income tax depreciation rates. Instead, the input tax adjustment periods according to § 15a UStG (10 years for land and buildings , 5 years for other objects) are decisive if the acquisition or production costs are at least 500 euros.

Individual evidence

  1. EU VAT System Directive 2006/112 of November 28, 2006 (PDF)