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At a glance: Important information as of 1 January 2017 relevant for employers

As every year, 2017 has also important changes in the area of wage tax and the social security right. There are many small changes, which should be noticed. This article lists the most important changes you need to know for your current wage tax billing.

Changes in income tax law


  • ELStAM-Data are obligatory for the employer
  • Increase of the basic tax-free allowance
  • Wage tax class is simultaneously applicable to all remunerations (e.g. active employment and pension plan payments)

Travel expenses

  • Foreign travel allowances have changed as of 1 January 2017
  • The rules regarding attestation “M” are extended until the end of 2017
  • Benefits in kind values apply, corresponding with those for social insurance purposes for
    breakfast: EUR 1.70
    lunch/dinner: EUR 3.17
  • Benefits in kind up to EUR 44.00 monthly continue to be income tax-free. If this threshold is exceeded, the entire value of the benefit in kind will be subject to income tax. Flat-rate taxed benefits in kind are not to be included.

Company events

Company events: tax exempt amount of EUR 110,00 per participating person / maximum two events per year / all additional costs (room rent, family members) have to be included / exceeding amounts are subject to wage tax (flat-rate-tax is possible).

Changes in social insurance law

Contribution rates of social insurance:

Health insurance: 14.60 % (ER 7.3 %, EE 7.3 %)
Nursing care insurance: 2.55 % (additional fee for childless 0.25 %)
Statutory pension insurance: 18.70%
Unemployment insurance: 3.00%
Unemployment insurance: 0.09%
Additional health insurance: depends on health insurance company (borne by EE)
Average additional health insurance: 1.1%
For self-employed artists/journalists (Künstlersozialkasse): 4.80%

Social insurance contribution ceilings

Health- and nursing care insurance for all Federal States EUR 4,350.00 monthly EUR 52,200.00 annually
Yearly statutory remuneration ceiling EUR 57,600.00  
Special yearly statutory remuneration ceiling EUR 52,200.00  
Pension and unemployment insurance monthly annually
Old Federal States EUR 6,350.00 EUR 76,200.00
New Federal States EUR 5,700.00 EUR 68,400.00

Subsidies to the health- and nursing care insurance:

Members of private health insurance funds: half of contribution; maximum
Health insurance: EUR 317.55
Nursing care insurance: EUR 55.46
  • The maximum limit for earnings of persons in marginal employments amounts to EUR 450.00. These “Minijobs” are insured in the statutory pension insurance, an exemption is possible. Marginal and temporary employees are obliged to disclose further marginal and/or temporary employments.
  • Temporary employment occurs when employment does not exceed 3 months or 70 days
  • For low-income earners the limit remains unchanged at EUR 325.00. The employer must also bear the surcharge in the nursing care insurance for childless individuals.
  • Monthly monetary value of benefits in kind
Monthly monetary value of benefits in kind  
Free accommodation: EUR 223.00
Meals (total): EUR 241.00
Breakfast: EUR 51.00
Lunch/or dinner resp. EUR 95.00

Due date of data transfer of statements of contributions paid and of payments of total social insurance contribution amounts (fixed by law)

Month 5th last bank business day (data transfer) 3rd last bank business day (payment)
January 25 27
February 22 24
March 27 29
April 24 26
May 24 29
June 26 28
July 25 27
August 25 29
September 25 27
October 24 26
November 24 28
December 21 27
  • When health insurance companies are charging or raising the additional health insurance rate there is a special right of cancellation. The binding period after a change remains un-changed.


  • Minimum wage for (almost) all business lines EUR 8.84
  • Employment of pensioners:
    No more unemployment insurance contributions by the employer (limited until 2021)
    The ceiling for the permissible additional income changes on 1.07.2017

Your contacts

Barbara Popp
Senior Manager
Tel.: 040 32080-4573

Friederike Sorge
Tel.: 040 32080-4572

Your contacts

Barbara Popp
Senior Manager
Tel.: 040 32080-4573

Friederike Sorge
Tel.: 040 32080-4572

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