"Service fee" in building society contracts ineffective

Bausparkasse withdraws its appeal!

After Debeka Bausparkasse AG withdrew its appeal to the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) against the ruling of the Koblenz Regional Court of 21.11.2019 (Ref.: 8 U 1770/18), it is now clear that the annual “service fee”, which the bank had introduced retrospectively, is invalid and may no longer be charged.

Although there has been no generally binding decision by the Federal Court of Justice on this due to the withdrawal of the appeal, customers of the building society can now make a binding assumption that the lump sum is invalid and reclaim wrongly charged fees.

At the beginning of 2017, the building society had introduced a subsequent fee, the so-called “service fee”, for the “old tariffs” BS1 and BS3. According to this, fees were charged in the amount of 24 euros once a year and 12 euros once a year. The building society cited the permanently low interest rate situation as the reason. The newer contracts, on the other hand, would already take into account the expenses supposedly incurred by the buildiThe newer contracts, on the other hand, would already take into account the expenses supposedly incurred by the Bausparkasse in the tariff structure.ng society in the tariff structure.

The plaintiff was the Consumer Advice Centre Saxony. It was of the opinion that the service fee passed on costs to the consumer that were legally or contractually to be borne by the building society. This was also the original decision of the Regional Court of Koblenz, judgement of 21.11.2019 (Ref.: 8 U 1770/18).

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BGH judgement on fictitious consent in the case of amendments to GTCs

In a judgement of 27.04.2021 (Az. XI ZR 26/20), the XI Civil Senate of the Federal Court of Justice ruled on the invalidity of general terms and conditions clauses that feign the bank client’s consent if the bank makes changes to the general terms and conditions.
The complaint filed by the Federal Association of Consumer Centres and Consumer Associations was directed against clauses in general terms and conditions stipulating that changes must in principle be offered to the customer two months before the date on which they are to take effect. However, the express consent of the customer shall not be required for these clauses to take effect. Insofar as he does not indicate any rejection within the period between the offer and the effective date, the consent shall be deemed to have been given. The bank will make special reference to this in the offer and the customer also has a termination option.
The plaintiff brought an action for an injunction against the use of such clauses. After unsuccessfully going through all instances, he turned to the BGH with his request to oblige the bank to refrain from using these clauses.
The court came to the conclusion that the clauses were invalid. They do not stand up to a review of general terms and conditions pursuant to § 305 et seq. BGB.
An interpretation of the disputed clause No. 1 (2) of the GTC shows that it concerns all amendments to the contracts concluded between the bank and the client. This may also include, for example, securities transactions and savings transactions. Without there being any restriction in this respect, every contractual amendment agreement is therefore affected by the effect of approval. The BGH sees this as a significant deviation from the basic idea of § 305 para. 2, § 311 para. 1, §§ 145 et seq. BGB, according to which silence in legal transactions is generally not to be regarded as a declaration of intent. Accordingly, the GTC offer cannot be effectively accepted without the customer actually giving his consent. This was to be seen as an unreasonable disadvantage to the customer pursuant to section 307 (1) sentence 1, (2) no. 1 of the German Civil Code (BGB), which is presumed in the case of a substantial deviation from the basic ideas of the law. In the case of fictitious consent, the bank has the power to redraft the contract on its own authority. Even the possible exercise control with regard to already agreed amendments did not change the existence of the unreasonable disadvantage. Rather, an amendment agreement was required for an amendment of the GTC, especially if such fundamental and far-reaching provisions for the contractual relationship of the parties were involved, as in the case decided in this case.
With regard to another clause, no. 12 (5) of the disputed GTC, the court also came to the conclusion that the clause was invalid. This regulates charges for main services. Because of the customer’s fictitious consent, the main performance obligations owed by the bank can be changed by means of GTCs – and without restrictions. This leads to the bank being able to influence the contractual provisions to its advantage in a significant way, which can lead to a devaluation of the client’s position. This was an unreasonable disadvantage contrary to the principles of good faith. In order to be effective, an amendment agreement meeting the legal requirements would also be required. The fiction of consent, on the other hand, was not sufficient.
This decision will have far-reaching consequences for practice. On the one hand, this makes it necessary to adapt comparable clauses in legal transactions. Furthermore, certain amendments to the GTC may also be retroactively invalid. With respect to consumers, amendments to general terms and conditions or special terms and conditions based on a mere fiction of consent by the customer may not have become effective. This would have the consequence that the originally agreed conditions would continue to apply, which may well lead to a need for legal action.
If you have any questions about changes to the GTC, we will of course be happy to advise you. We continue to follow developments on this issue and will keep you informed.

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The procedural documentation

If entrepreneurs do not want to run the risk of additional estimates during tax audits, they must be able to present procedural documentation – often immediately after the audit order.

I. What is procedural documentation and who must keep it?

Procedural documentation is intended to present the structure as well as the organisational processes in a company that are related to accounting in a stringent and comprehensible manner. In addition to general structures such as document storage and financial accounting, this also includes all documents relevant to the individual business processes. This can also include (electronic) correspondence as well as payroll and time recording processes. The procedural documentation extends the general requirements for accounting, which result from the original accounting obligation, from the German Commercial Code as well as the extended accounting obligation of the German Fiscal Code, the principles for the proper keeping and storage of books, records and documents in electronic form as well as for data access (GoBD), by a further issue. In this respect, there is an obligation for companies to prepare and maintain procedural documentation that generate profit income according to §§ 5, 4 para. 1 EStG. In this respect, there are no exceptions, so that even small businesses must maintain procedural documentation.

II Structure and content of procedural documentation

The procedural documentation must be comprehensible and complete for an expert third party, in particular for the auditors of the tax authorities. The documentation of all relevant processes should be done in such a clear way that the expert third party can get an overview within a short time. But how exactly should procedural documentation be structured in order to do justice to this? The concrete design depends, of course, on the respective company and its business processes. However, the Federal Ministry of Finance assumes a general structure described as follows:

1. general description

Within the framework of the general description, the organisation of the company shall be presented. In particular, staff responsibilities and the operational environment should be explained in more detail. Furthermore, the processes relevant under tax law are to be described. The business processes carried out should be clearly presented from start to finish, i.e. from order processing to accounting and the associated payment transactions to the archiving of documents.

2. user documentation

The user documentation describes the software used. For the sake of completeness, the operating instructions for the respective software should also be included.

3. technical system documentation

The entire IT use in the company should also be presented. In addition to hardware and application service providers, this also includes data backup and data protection.

4. operating documentation

Finally, proper procedural documentation also includes a description of the internal control system. This is to guarantee compliance with the procedural instructions and lead to complete operational documentation. Furthermore, the procedural documentation must always correspond to the current procedure used in practice. Changes must be historically traceable; in particular, it must be recognisable which programme version has been used for which period.

III. Consequences of incomplete procedural documentation

If only incomplete procedural documentation or, in the worst case, no procedural documentation at all is submitted to the tax authorities, there is a formal deficiency with material weight and there is a possibility that the auditor will reject the entire accounting. As a consequence, additional assessments of up to 10 percent of the annual turnover on the taxable profit can be threatened. Such costs are unnecessary and avoidable. In order to safeguard themselves in advance, companies should seek professional help if they have doubts about completeness. Our tax advisors will be happy to advise you in detail on the subject and provide you with customised solutions for your company.

If you are interested, please contact us by e-mail, via the form on our website or by telephone.

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    Share deal and property acquisition tax reform

    Share deals and property acquisition tax reform

    After years of negotiations, the Finance Committee of the Bundestag has passed a law that is to prevent tax advantages in the context of share deals in the future.
    In the case of share deals, it has so far been possible to avoid land transfer tax, which can amount to up to 6.5 % of the purchase price depending on the federal state, by acquiring real estate through business shares. Instead of selling the property itself (asset deal), a share deal involves selling the shares in the company holding the property.
    The amendment of the Real Estate Transfer Tax Act has the effect that real estate transfer tax is now already due from the transfer of shares amounting to 90% of a real estate company within 10 years. Some even demanded a lowering of the threshold for tax liability to 75 %, but in the end an agreement was reached on 90 %. Previously, the tax was only due if 95% of the shares were transferred within five years. Therefore, in the case of share deals, the seller must in future retain an interest of at least 10.1% for at least ten years.
    Furthermore, a new property tax item for corporations was also introduced. With regard to the tax-triggering threshold, not only the shares united at the acquirer but all shares moved are now considered. This means that the transaction does not remain below the threshold for tax liability even if the majority share is sold to a majority investor and the minority share to a co-investor. The immediate tax-free acquisition involving a co-investor in corporations is thus no longer possible.
    Furthermore, a stock exchange clause is introduced. This is to ensure that the trading of shares on a recognised stock exchange does not incidentally trigger the land transfer tax. The incurrence of the tax is hardly foreseeable and uncontrollable for the buyer. However, the exemption from tax probably does not refer to the case of a complete takeover of file companies via a public takeover offer.
    The result of all these changes should be that numerous share deals, which allowed tax savings to a high degree, will no longer be possible in the future. So far, share deals are said to have prevented tax revenues in the billions.
    The amendment to the law is to come into force on 01 July. However, the previous regulations, in particular the 95% limit, continue to apply on a subsidiary basis. This is intended to prevent so-called “transitional winners” who, for example, would be able to increase from 94% to 100% tax-free after the amendment to the law comes into force. For corporations, this leads to a perpetual monitoring period with regard to share unions under the old law. Partnerships receive protection of legitimate expectations, provided that the previously applicable 5-year period had already expired.
    It remains to be seen whether the amendment of the law will actually put an end to the long-standing discussion on this topic and whether the intended planning security will be achieved. We will of course continue to follow developments on this issue and keep you informed.

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    Berlin rental cap unconstitutional

    Federal Constitutional Court: Berlin rental cap unconstitutional (decision of 25.03.2021, 2 BvF 1/20, 2 BvL 4/20, 2 BvL 5/20)

    In order to counteract the recent sharp rise in rents, the state of Berlin has launched the so-called “Berlin Rent Cap”, the Law on Rent Limits in the Housing Sector in Berlin (MietenWoG Bln). Not only real estate groups and landlords, but also members of the Bundestag from the FDP and CDU/CSU then doubted the legality of the law and filed a petition with the Federal Constitutional Court to review the law. Now the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe has made its decision (Ref.: 2 BvF 1/20 et al.): Berlin’s rent cap is unconstitutional and therefore void.

    What did the rental cap regulate?

    The red-red-green government’s law froze rents in the capital at June 2019 levels with effect from 23 February 2020. The plan was to prohibit an increase in rents altogether until 2022 and to grant an increase of only 1.3% per year thereafter. New tenancy agreements had to be based on a ceiling set by the Berlin Senate Administration and were not allowed to exceed it. In a second step, as of 23 November 2020, rents that were more than 20% above the statutory upper limit could no longer be charged and also had to be adjusted. The regulation was initially limited to five years and contained, among other things, exceptions for newly built flats that were ready for occupancy on 01.01.2014 at the earliest.

    Why is this now unconstitutional?

    The setting of rent levels for freely financed housing offered on the open housing market falls within the concurrent legislative competence according to Art. 70,72 (1) GG. In concrete terms, this means that the Länder may only make use of their right to legislate as long as and to the extent that the Federation has not yet adopted a final regulation. With the modernisation of tenancy law, however, the federal government has already stipulated a so-called rent brake in §§ 556 – 561 BGB. The Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe has now clearly determined: These regulations are final. This has a blocking effect; the Länder are no longer allowed to make independent regulations on rent law. The action of the Land of Berlin was therefore unlawful and the enacted law unconstitutional.

    What does the federal rent control law look like?

    Until the modernisation of tenancy law, landlords were free to determine the amount of rent when concluding a tenancy agreement. The new Section 556 d (1) of the German Civil Code (BGB) introduced in 2015 has largely abolished this practice. In principle, only rents 10% above the local comparable rent may be assessed. Exceptions exist for modernised housing and tenancy agreements concluded before the Act came into force.

    What are the consequences of the ruling?

    For the time being, the federal regulations on rent law will apply again. Furthermore, landlords can in principle demand the (wrongly) reduced part of the rent from 23 February 2020, also retroactively. Provided that the local rent has not yet been reached, rents for current contracts can increase by up to 15% over the next three years. New tenancy agreements may again exceed the local rent by up to 10%.
    You can find the decision in its entirety here. We will be happy to advise you on this topic and answer any further questions.


    No rescission right for kilometer leasing contracts

    No rescission right for kilometer leasing contracts according to §506 BGB (BGH, judgment of February 24, 2021 - VIII ZR 36/20)


    The (supposedly) cheapest way to get out of a car leasing contract is undoubtedly the revocation. How and under which conditions this is possible is defined by law for residual value leasing in Section 506 of the German Civil Code (BGB). However, the extent to which revocation is permissible and enforceable in the case of mileage leasing has not yet been clarified. In its ruling of February 24, 2021, Case No.: VIII ZR 36/20, the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) has now conclusively clarified that there is no statutory rescission right for the revocation of a kilometer leasing contract based on this circumstance alone.
    “A lease agreement with mileage accounting does not meet the requirements of the provision of Section 506 (2) sentence 1 No. 1 to No. 3 of the German Civil Code (in the version applicable at the time of the conclusion of the agreement and still applicable today) because it does not provide for an obligation to purchase on the part of the lessee or a right to tender on the part of the lessor, nor does it provide for a residual value guarantee on the part of the lessee.”
    (Press release BGH, No. 039/2021)

    What leasing models are possible?

    Basically, two different consumer models occur in practice: residual value leasing and mileage leasing. In the first case, the value of the vehicle at the end of the leasing period is estimated when the contract is concluded. After the vehicle is returned, the resale value is then precisely determined; if it is lower than the value estimated at the time the contract was concluded, e.g. due to dents, scuffs or excessive wear and tear, the buyer must make up the difference. If the value is higher, he will be reimbursed the difference in return. Mileage leasing, on the other hand, specifies in advance how many miles the customer will drive the vehicle. If he covers more kilometers with the vehicle than agreed, he must pay a flat rate for each additional kilometer. Should he drive less, he will be refunded the money here as well.
    Regardless of the leasing model, customers can additionally agree with the leasing company that the vehicle can or even must be taken out of the contract at the end of the term.

    What about the rescission right now?

    Leasing contracts between consumers and entrepreneurs are contracts “for the use of an object against payment”. Thus, the requirements for revocation are generally based on the following criteria. according to § 506 BGB. Unlike residual value leasing, mileage leasing contracts are explicitly not included in the list. Until now, it was unclear whether this loophole might be an unintended loophole and whether the legislator had simply “forgotten” to include mileage leasing. It has also been argued in some quarters that mileage leasing is merely a method of circumventing the rescission right. In this respect, Section 511 sentence 2 of the German Civil Code, which is aimed at circumvention transactions, should apply. This then refers again to § 506 BGB, so that in the end there is a statutory right of revocation.
    The BGH has now expressly contradicted this assessment in the present case. Neither is the choice of a long-standing and established type of contract a circumvention transaction, nor is there an unintended regulatory gap. The BGH thus aligns its case law with the assessment of interests in the European Consumer Sales Directive, which assumes the existence of a consumer credit and thus the existence of a right of revocation only if the contract triggers the lessee’s obligation to purchase. However, the contract may still be revocable because it was concluded at a distance, for example.

    If you have any questions, we will be happy to advise you in detail on the subject.


    BAFA - Support for entrepreneurial know-how

    A funding programme of the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA) subsidises consultations of small and medium-sized enterprises in economic, but also financial, personnel and organisational subject areas. The programme called “Promotion of Entrepreneurial Know-How” is aimed in particular at companies in economic difficulties and provides them with a consulting grant for all questions concerning the restoration of performance and competitiveness.

    The funding programme is initially aimed at companies based in the Federal Republic of Germany. Included are start-ups that are not older than two years, existing enterprises from the third year after foundation and enterprises that are in economic trouble – regardless of their enterprise age. The last mentioned must in addition to having their registered office in Germany fulfil the conditions of the guidelines on state aid for rescuing and restructuring non-financial undertakings in difficulty (2014/249/01), point 20(a) or point 20(b).

    However, entrepreneurs or freelancers who carry out advisory or training economic activities and those for whom insolvency proceedings have been opened or who fulfil the requirements for this are not eligible to apply. Furthermore, such enterprises are excluded that are in a participation relationship with religious communities, legal persons under public law or their own enterprises and also non-profit enterprises. In addition, agricultural enterprises and those active in fishing and aquaculture are not eligible to apply.

    The funding programme “Promotion of Entrepreneurial Know-How” covers various advisory areas, which are divided into general advisory services on all economic, financial, personnel and organisational issues of business management and many special advisory services.

    This also includes advice on the subject of digitalisation and procedural documentation.

    The special consultations include, among others, those enterprises that are run by women, migrants or migrant women, or by entrepreneurs with a recognised disability or enterprises that provide special support to people with disabilities or migrants. In addition, for example, special consultations are also possible for companies that contribute to gender equality and better compatibility of family and work or especially to sustainability and environmental protection.

    Enterprises in difficulty receive subsidies for counselling for business security counselling to restore economic performance and competitiveness and can also take advantage of further general follow-up counselling.

    While young enterprises and enterprises in difficulty can claim the subsidies over the entire subsidy period of 6 months, the subsidy for existing enterprises is limited to a maximum of five consulting days.

    The amount of funding depends on the type of company and the respective region. Start-ups receive a subsidy rate of 50%-80% depending on the region, with an assessment basis of 4,000 euros. The same applies to existing companies, whereby the assessment basis here is 3,000 euros. Unternehmen in Schwierigkeiten erhalten unabhängig vom Standort einen Fördersatz von 90% bei einer Bemessungsgrundlage von 3.000 Euro.

    Advisory services under the funding programme are provided by self-employed advisors or by advisory firms that generate their predominant turnover through advisory services. In addition to the approval in the funding procedure, they have to provide a certain proof of quality in order to ensure that the counselling is carried out in accordance with the guidelines.

    Before submitting an application, start-ups and companies in difficulty must have had an informational interview with a regional person of contact, which is free of charge for them. This requirement does not exist for existing companies. The application must be submitted via BAFA’s online application platform no later than three months after this interview. After receiving an information letter, certain documents must be submitted until finally the registration and, after approval, the payment of the grant can take place.
    Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. We will keep you informed on this topic!


    Funding innovative projects - the Research Allowance Act

    In order to support innovative companies in research and development projects, the Federal Government passed the Research Grants Act (FZulG) on 14 December 2019. Since 01.01.2020, small and medium-sized enterprises in particular can be supported in this way.
    After the application for funding has been submitted to the Bescheinigungsstelle Forschungszulage (BSFZ), the content of the project is reviewed; in particular with regard to the funding criteria. As soon as a positive assessment has been made, the allowance can then be applied for at the competent tax office. However, this application can only be made after the end of a business year from the time the eligible expenses are incurred.

    What criteria must a project fulfil in order to be funded?

    The Research Grants Act applies to every taxable company – regardless of size, industry or age. This means that both companies that are already established on the market and start-ups that have just been founded can be supported.
    In terms of content, the project must contribute to basic research, industrial research or experimental development. Furthermore, the research project must aim to gain new knowledge. To this end, it should not make use of already established hypotheses and concepts, but be based on new, original hypotheses. In this respect, the final result should not be obvious from the first glance at the working papers, but should be deliberately uncertain. In order for the research to show eligible added value, it must also be possible to repeat the result of the project or transfer it to other experiments or findings.
    Finally, the federal government expects a certain systematic approach and planning of the project. Thus, the economic, scientific and technical tasks should be clearly defined and lead to defined goals. The analysis of results must also be evaluated on the basis of methodological principles.

    What does the funding look like in concrete terms?

    Currently and until 30.06.2026, the maximum amount of the tax base is 4 million euros. Of the individually determined assessment basis, 25% is then reimbursed as an allowance. Thus, up to one million euros can currently be paid out. Since there are no deadlines and the programme budget is not limited, even projects that have already started can be funded retroactively. Similarly, projects that are just starting can apply for a grant now.

    Conclusion

    Access to funding under the Research Grants Act is comparatively simple. The application to the BSFZ is fully electronic and requires only moderate effort in terms of the information to be provided. In the absence of a competitive process or programme budget cap, a relatively large number of companies can be subsidised. Furthermore, the funding programme of the Research Grants Act offers a great advantage over other funding programmes: There is no obligation on the part of the funded company to publish the results or to allow advantages in the use of the results.
    If you still have unanswered questions about the programme or possible eligibility to apply, we will be happy to advise you.


    Supply Chain Act

    Supply Chain Act


    With the aim of reducing child labour and starvation wages abroad, the responsible ministries (Federal Ministry of Labour, Federal Ministry of Development and Federal Ministry of Economics) have recently agreed on a joint draft bill. Accordingly, a new supply chain law is to be passed before the end of this legislative period, which will oblige German companies to comply with minimum ecological and social standards vis-à-vis foreign suppliers. In this way, human rights are to be enforced with the respective suppliers abroad. Although the companies are not supposed to be civilly liable for this – this would result in lawsuits worth billions – violations of the Supply Chain Act could result in a fine and exclusion from tenders for up to three years.
    A mandatory regulation in the form of a law seemed necessary, as the companies concerned have so far at best committed themselves to complying with certain standards, but a large proportion of the companies have not adhered to these obligations.
    The draft provides for a step-by-step plan for responsibility on the path from end product to raw product, which is to become mandatory for large companies first. In the case of merely indirect suppliers, the company only has to take action if it becomes positively aware of human rights violations. Those affected by the human rights violations are then to receive legal protection in German courts through trade unions and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). According to the draft bill, this requires the violation of “paramount legal positions”. The new regulations are to apply from 01.01.2023 to those companies that have more than 3,000 employees, and from 2024 the regulations are also to apply to companies with more than 1,000 employees.
    The introduction of such a supply chain law remains highly controversial. The Ministry of Economics, for example, called for a softening of the regulations for small entrepreneurs, who should not be overburdened. Criticism also comes from entrepreneurs who fear that Germany will be jeopardised as a business location. Some call for regulation at European level or within the framework of the G20. Volkswagen alone, with 40,000 suppliers worldwide, is very strongly affected by the new regulations.
    Likewise, despite the already existing draft bill, there is still dispute within the federal government. In a letter from Ulrich Nußbaum, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Economics, to Björn Böhning, Federal Ministry of Labour, Nußbaum objected to the procedure regarding departmental coordination and refused to give his consent regarding the publication of the draft on the Ministry’s homepage. The draft does not correspond to the agreements, so that an adjustment is imperative.
    It therefore remains to be seen how the situation in dispute will develop. We will keep you up to date on this.


    ESOP - Reform / Fund Status Act

    Improving of staff shareholding?


    ESOP Reform / Fund Status Act: Improving Staff Ownership?

    Compared to the international competition, Germany is far behind in terms of Staff Ownership opportunities. This is mainly due to the restrictive tax treatment. Those who nevertheless decide to involve their employees must resort to complex constructs such as “virtual employee options” (VSOPs), phantom shares or stock appreciation rights. After years of experts and start-ups drawing attention to this problem, the federal government has now decided to simplify the employee status with the draft of the so-called “Fund Location Act”.

    Wie funktionieren Mitarbeiterbeteiligungen überhaupt?

    Staff Ownership is essentially profit-sharing and serves as an incentive to recruit skilled workers. In the event of an IPO or exit of the start-up, the employees are then paid their shareholdings in the company.

    What are the current complaints?

    The main problem is the so-called dry-income problem. This concerns the taxation point at the time of allocation of concessionary shares or options. In principle, tax is already due at the time of allocation, i.e. before the (virtual) business share could bring in any money at all. This is problematic because before an exit, often neither the company nor the employee has sufficient funds to offset the short-term tax burden.

    What should change now?

    In particular, with regard to the dry income problem, the tax on the allocation of (virtual) shares should be able to be postponed into the future for the first time. According to the draft bill, the prerequisite for this is that the shares are genuine business shares, i.e. they are not merely options, and that the company is an SME, i.e. it employs fewer than 250 people, for example, and is not older than ten years.

    Criticism of the draft

    Although the planned reform leads to an improvement in some areas, it does not solve all the problems of Staff Ownership in Germany. On the one hand, the requirement that it must be an SME already excludes many “grow-ups” – an area in which Germany is already behind the international competition. On the other hand, the allocation of real shares is not unproblematic, so that many start-ups are likely to fail because of this requirement. In addition, the planned draft bill provides that the tax burden can be deferred for a maximum of 10 years from the time the shares are awarded. Statistically, however, many start-ups take longer than 10 years to exit; consequently, they also benefit only to a limited extent from the new regulation. In the worst case, this time limit of 10 years can even lead to successful start-ups being pushed into the exit phase too early.

    Finally, the draft bill ties the possibility of deferring the tax burden into the future to remaining in the company. However, this practically leads to employees being forced to stay in a company because of taxes that would otherwise be incurred. This is precisely not the case with the VSOP solutions currently used under the law of obligations. Despite the planned draft bill, a departure from this seems unlikely in practice for this very reason.

    Finance Minister Scholz plans to bring the new rules into force on 1 July 2021. Representatives of start-ups, however, are first demanding an amendment to the draft. Wir verfolgen die Entwicklungen und halten Sie auf dem Laufenden!