Individual - Foreign tax relief and tax treaties

Last reviewed - 23 December 2023

Foreign tax relief

If a double tax treaty (DTT) exists, double taxation is usually avoided by exempting the foreign income with progression. Foreign income taxes can only be credited against German income tax if a tax credit is provided in the applicable DTT or a DTT does not exist. A tax credit is only possible up to the amount of German income taxes on the specific foreign income.

Tax treaties

German national income tax law has been modified and superseded by various tax treaties with foreign countries to ensure that income is not taxed by more than one country. Germany has concluded DTTs, applicable for income taxes, with nearly 90 countries, amongst them most of the industrialised countries. However, DTTs have not been concluded with, for example, Brazil and Hong Kong. The DTT with the United Arab Emirates expired on 31 December 2021 and has not been renewed.

Germany currently has double-taxation agreements with the below mentioned countries:

Albania Iran Poland
Algeria Ireland, Republic of Portugal
Argentina Israel Romania
Armenia Italy Russia**
Australia Jamaica Serbia
Austria Japan Singapore
Azerbaijan Jersey Slovak Republic
Bangladesh Kazakhstan Slovenia
Belarus Kenya South Africa
Belgium Korea, Republic of Spain
Bolivia Kosovo Sri Lanka
Bosnia and Herzegovina Kuwait Sweden
Bulgaria Kyrgyzstan Switzerland
Canada Latvia Syria
China, People's Republic of * Liberia Taiwan
Costa Rica Liechtenstein Tajikistan
Cote d'lvoire Lithuania Thailand
Croatia Luxembourg Trinidad and Tobago
Cyprus Macedonia Tunisia
Czech Republic Malaysia Turkey
Denmark Malta Turkmenistan
Ecuador Mauritius Ukraine
Egypt Mexico United Kingdom
Estonia Moldova United States
Finland Mongolia Uruguay
France Montenegro Uzbekistan
Georgia Morocco Venezuela
Ghana Namibia Vietnam
Greece Netherlands Zambia
Hungary New Zealand Zimbabwe
Iceland Norway
India Pakistan
Indonesia Philippines

* Without Hong Kong and Macau

** The DTA between Germany and Russia has partially been suspended due to a Russian presidential decree issued on 8 August 2023. 

Estate and gift tax conventions

Estate and gift tax conventions have also been concluded with a number of countries, including the countries listed below:

  • Denmark (included in the DTT)
  • France
  • Greece
  • Sweden (included in the DTT)
  • Switzerland
  • United States

Social security totalisation agreements and EU directive 883/2004

  • EU member states
  • Iceland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Norway
  • Switzerland

Totalisation agreements (i.e. social security agreements) have also been concluded with the countries listed below:

  • Albania
  • Australia
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Brazil
  • Canada and Quebec
  • Chile
  • China
  • India
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Korea
  • Kosovo
  • North Macedonia
  • Moldova
  • Montenegro
  • Morocco
  • Philippines
  • Serbia
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom (after Brexit)
  • United States
  • Uruguay