The Germans’ love of dogs is providing local authorities with high tax revenues even in the crisis. In 2020, the income from dog tax rose to a record value of €380.2 million, according to new figures from the Federal Statistical Office released in response to a question from Welt am Sonntag.
That marks an increase of almost three percent compared to the previous year, when all owners together paid €370 million in taxes for their dogs.
All dogs in Germany are subject to the Hundesteuer or ‘dog tax’, an annual fee which differs from state to state and is usually collected from dog owners.
But the German’s love of four-legged friends has not just grown amid the pandemic, when more people began working from home and looked for a source of companionship. Since reunification, the revenue from the tax has tripled; in 1991, it yielded just €123 million.
The Hundesteuer is thus one of the few types of tax that brought in more money despite the coronavirus pandemic. Although the increase of only three percent raises the question of whether every dog is actually reported to the tax office.
According to the German Canine Association (VDH), 20 percent more dogs were bought by Bundesrepublik residents in 2020 compared to previous years, reported Spiegel in January.
Yet the amount collected in taxes depends on how many pups a person already owns. In many states, the amount of tax to be paid per dog increases with the number of dogs in the household.
In Berlin, for example, the first dog costs €120 per year with each additional dog costing €180 per year.
In Düsseldorf, the tax for one dog in the household is €96, and raises to €150 for two.
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