Individual - Foreign tax relief and tax treaties

Last reviewed - 30 June 2021

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German national income tax law has been modified and superseded by various tax treaties with foreign countries to ensure that income is not taxed by more than one country.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 e.g. with Brazil and Hong Kong.

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

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

* Without Hong Kong and Macau

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

Totalisation agreements

Totalisation agreements (i.e. social security agreements) have also been concluded with a number of countries, including the countries listed below:

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