Advertising expenses

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Advertising costs ( abbr. WK ) are expenses / expenses ,

As a result of the efficiency principle , the deduction of income-related expenses is not a tax benefit , but a characteristic of the objective net principle , according to which only the available net income and not the gross income may be subject to taxation.

To simplify the collection of taxes, tax law provides for certain lump sums (see lump sum ), which are then deducted if no or only low costs are incurred. Because the type and amount of the advertising expenses claimed must always be proven, if there is no evidence of the actual expenses, a lump sum for advertising expenses will also be deducted.

The concept of business expenses within surplus income corresponds to the concept of operating expenses in profit income .


Income Income Income zvE.png

Business expenses within the meaning of the Income Tax Act are all expenses for acquiring, securing and maintaining income ( § 9 EStG).

The first definition of costs, which corresponds to today's German Income Tax Act, can already be found in the Prussian Income Tax Act of 1891. In this regulation, however, the concept of income- related expenses was still missing, which developed from the definition of expenses for the acquisition of income and was only inserted into the law in 1906.

General explanations

In terms of the concept, income- related expenses only exist in the case of excess income, in which the income is determined as the excess of income over income-related expenses. In contrast, the costs for the profit income types are defined as operating expenses . Accordingly, advertising costs arise with the following types of income :

Excess income legal basis
Income from employment Section 19 EStG
Income from capital assets (until 2008) Section 20 of the Income Tax Act
Rental and leasing income Section 21 of the Income Tax Act
Other Income Section 22 of the Income Tax Act

To determine the tax-relevant income, the income-related expenses must be deducted from the income from which they arose. The decisive factor here is an objective connection with the type of income and not a subjective necessity. If there is an objective connection, the amount or appropriateness of the expenditure is irrelevant, unless the expenditure is grossly disproportionate to the purpose. If there is little or no income (e.g. due to unemployment ( income from non-self-employed work ) or vacancy ( income from renting and leasing )), the deduction of advertising costs is still permitted (with restrictions) and losses are incurred (negative income ) conceivable. If a loss arises from a single source of income, the loss must first be offset within the respective type of income. If a loss results from one type of income, this can be offset with positive income from the other types of income.
Of the total revenues obtained after in calculation ( § 2 , para. 3 sentence 1 ITA) is a negative amount, then, according to § 10d 1 ITA Abs., A loss carry 2 ITA and according to § 10d Abs. Loss lecture possible.

Lump sum for expenses

Commercial expenses only have an effect on the income statement if the lump sum for commercial expenses is exceeded. In the case of income from active employment, the employee lump sum is currently (2017) € 1,000 per year. This lump sum is already taken into account when deducting income tax. For recipients of pension payments, only a lump sum of 102 € / year applies.

Delimitation problems

In theory, it is undisputed that completely professional costs are deductible and completely private costs are not deductible. Often, however, the realities of life can only be transferred to tax law to a limited extent and this applies above all to the separation of professional and private expenses.

On the one played by subjective view a considerable role (example: The black tailcoat is from the perspective of the waiter a work clothes and from the perspective of the theater visitor a private evening wear ) and the other is always § 12 Income Tax Act should be noted after the mixed expenses (partly professional and partly private) are not to be divided into a deductible and non-deductible amount, but are not taken into account as a whole (example: The civil clothing of an employee, since these can also be worn privately, is to be added to the costs of private life and this also if the employer prescribes the wearing of appropriate clothing).

In practice, there are delimitation problems in the home office : Among other things, this led to the fact that it is only possible under very limited conditions to deduct the costs of a home study, although this may actually be due to work.

The demarcation between the private and work-related expenses for travel expenses was also problematic if the trip also served private purposes. The Federal Fiscal Court has affirmed a division according to time shares. Following this ruling, the Cologne Finance Court also approved the division of a study.

Examples of advertising expenses

In the field of employment:

  • Cost of double housekeeping
  • Application costs
  • Costs for work and service clothing. However, it should be noted that expenses for so-called civil clothing (normal suit, costume) are non-deductible costs of private life. Deductible is the typical workwear ( robe of the judge , clothing chimney sweep , etc.). In the latter case, not only the acquisition costs , but also the expenses for washing or cleaning (e.g. also in the domestic washing machine) and tailoring are the worker's expenses.
  • Cost of work equipment, e.g. B. Technical literature , tools , office supplies
    In a proven amount. The tax office recognizes up to 110 € per year (regionally different, partly only with a rough description of the expenditure, partly not at all). d. Usually also without receipts. It is not a lump sum, but a non-objection limit without a legal basis. The costs must actually have been incurred - the simplification rule is only intended to reduce the effort required to prepare individual statements for taxpayers and to have them checked by the tax office. In the gray area (actually illegal, but in fact without any consequences), many taxpayers still claim the flat rate, even if no costs were actually incurred. If the acquisition costs for work equipment exceed € 410 (€ 800 from January 1, 2018) net ( Section 15 (1) UStG in conjunction with Section 9b (1) EStG / → see input tax deduction ) they are based on the normal useful life (ND) to be distributed (straight-line depreciation - e.g. computer three years ND, desk ten years ND).
  • Costs for a study and its equipment (Section 9 (1) No. 6 EStG)
  • Contributions to professional associations ( union contribution , Section 9 (1) No. 3 EStG)
  • Legal costs and legal fees in proceedings before the labor court (legal fees are always to be paid in the first instance of the labor courts, even if you win the process)
  • the professional liability insurance and the professional part of a legal protection insurance as well as the professional part of an accident insurance (all-inclusive contributions to ½ of the income-related expenses are to be added).
  • Training costs
  • Account management fees , if levied
    The tax office recognizes up to € 16 per year as a flat-rate fee even without receipts and statements. It is not a lump sum, but a non-objection limit without a legal basis. Fees of the lump-sum claimed amount must, in principle, have actually been incurred - the simplification rule only serves to handle the only possible lump-sum separation of the professional and private parts in the case of flat-rate account management fees and to save effort in the case of item fees. In the gray area (actually unlawful, but in fact without any consequences), a large number of taxpayers also state costs that have not been incurred (e.g. with a free current account). Receipts can be used to deduct higher costs.
  • Internet (If the Internet is used professionally, the costs are deductible as advertising costs. If an exact differentiation from the private part is not possible, the division is estimated - a maximum of € 20 per month is deductible)
  • Expenses for journeys between home and first place of work ( flat-rate distance allowance )
  • Costs for a second vocational training (but not for the first training outside of an existing employment relationship) (otherwise the costs are special expenses ).

In the area of ​​capital income:

  • From the assessment period 2009, the deduction of actual advertising expenses is excluded, unless the so-called partial income method is used.

In the area of ​​rental income:


Concept of advertising expenses

An employee's business expenses are expenses or expenses that are professionally induced, i.e. are directly related to a salaried activity or a targeted salaried activity.

Certain business expenses are automatically taken into account by the employer when deducting income tax, especially compulsory insurance contributions, chamber contributions, housing subsidy contributions (RZ 243 ff on the Income Tax Act ). The employee can claim the commuter allowance from the employer by submitting a declaration on Form L 34; if he fails to do so, he can make up for it in the employee tax assessment. The employee can also claim further business expenses by way of an employee tax assessment.

Proof of advertising expenses

In principle, advertising costs must be substantiated by appropriate evidence ( invoices , receipts , logbook , travel diet statement ). If proof is not possible due to the type and amount, it is sufficient to substantiate it. Receipts should only be enclosed if evidence is required in the (income tax) return. However, they should then be kept for seven years, as they have to be presented to the tax office upon request.

Flat rate for advertising expenses

Every active employee in Austria is entitled to an annual income-related expenses allowance of € 132.00. This flat rate is already included in the wage tax tables and is deducted from the wage tax assessment base regardless of whether or not there are business expenses. Advertising expenses therefore only have a tax-reducing effect if they total more than € 132.00 per year (RZ 320 ff).

In Austria, some professional groups (artists, members of the stage, television workers, journalists, musicians, forest workers, caretakers, home workers and representatives) and also certain groups of politicians can claim a predetermined flat rate for advertising costs without providing evidence. The legal basis for this is Section 17 (6) of the Income Tax Act or the related ordinances of the Federal Minister of Finance.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Grand Senate of the Federal Fiscal Court of September 21, 2009 GRS 1/06
  2. Cologne Finance Court of May 19, 2011 10 K 4126/09
  3. § 9 EStG - single standard. Retrieved May 27, 2020 .
  4. Section 9 (6) EStG, the constitutionality of which is being reviewed by the Federal Constitutional Court, 2 BvL 23/14, 24/14.
  5. ^ Werner Doralt, Hans Georg Ruppe: Tax Law . Vol. I. 10th edition Verlag Manz, Vienna 2012, ISBN 978-3-214-05121-1 , p. 207.