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German pensioners pay over $38b in income tax

German pensioners paid some €34.65 billion euros ($38.68 billion) in income tax over the course of 2015, the latest year for which figures are available, the Finance Ministry said on Friday in answer to a question in parliament.

The figure was up from €31.44 billion in 2014 and from €15.55 billion in 2005, according to the response to the question put by the hard-left opposition Die Linke (The Left) party.

Total revenue from income tax rose by around 50 per cent over the decade 2005 to 2015, while that taken from pensioners rose by 130 per cent.

Dietmar Bartsch, the head of the Die Linke parliamentary group, described the figures as problematic. “If nothing changes here, an increasing number of pensioners will face a heavier tax burden,” Bartsch told dpa.

“We need special protection for small pensions,” he added, calling for the basic tax-free allowance to be raised, “so that pensions that are low in any case do not fall further.”

The tax on pensioners imposed since 2005 is affecting more older taxpayers by the year. The tax authorities take into account not only state and company pensions, but income from investments and rentals from property owned.

The taxes kick in from a tax-free allowance of €9,168 for single pensioners and €18,336 for couples.

Source: dpa

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