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Source: BUS Sachsen-Anhalt (Linie6PLus)

Apply for exemption certificate for tax-privileged foreign investors of investment funds


Since 1 January 2018, investment funds with their

  • domestic investment income,
  • domestic real estate income, and
  • other domestic income

of corporation tax.
With the exemption certificate, investment funds can prove the tax status of their tax-privileged foreign investors so that the investment fund is partially or completely tax-exempt.
Foreign investors can apply for the exemption certificate at the Federal Central Tax Office (BZSt). Investors must then send the original exemption certificate to their investment fund.
If no exemption certificate is applied for or submitted to the investment fund, the income of the investment fund, if not exempt from taxation, is subject to corporation tax.

Applications for an exemption certificate may be submitted by:

  • tax-privileged foreign investors involved in investment funds domiciled and managed in the following countries:
    • Belgium
    • Bulgaria
    • Denmark
    • Estonia
    • Finland
    • France
    • Greece
    • Ireland
    • Italy
    • Croatia
    • Latvia
    • Lithuania
    • Luxembourg
    • Malta
    • Netherlands
    • Austria
    • Poland
    • Portugal
    • Romania
    • Sweden
    • Slovakia
    • Slovenia
    • Spain
    • Czechia
    • Hungary
    • United Kingdom
    • Cyprus
    • Australia
    • Liechtenstein
    • Canada

Further requirements:

  • foreign investors must be resident in a state providing administrative and debt enforcement assistance


  • be comparable to German tax-exempt investors.
  • A foreign investor is comparable if he has a
    • Corporation
    • Association of persons


  • Assets


  • those in accordance with the Articles of Association
  • the foundation business


  • the other constitution and according to the actual management exclusively and directly
    • Nonprofit
    • charitable


  • ecclesiastical purposes


and the foreign investor

  • promotes the tax-privileged purposes of natural persons in Germany


  • contributes to the reputation of the Federal Republic of Germany abroad

When applying for the exemption certificate, you must submit:

  • Extract from the commercial register or comparable proof of registration in the country of origin
  • Proof of recognition of charitable, charitable or ecclesiastical purposes in the country of origin
  • Statutes, Foundation Act or other constitution
  • Annual report
  • Statement of revenue and expenditure
  • Cash report
  • Balance sheet with evidence of the formation and development of reserves
  • Records of the collection of donations and their appropriate use
  • If applicable, Board minutes
  • Application: the exemption certificate can be applied for retroactively for a maximum period of up to 6 months before the date of application (the receipt of the application is decisive)
  • Validity of the exemption certificate: 3 years, after which a new application must be submitted
  • Objection
  • Administrative court action
  • Forms: yes
  • Online procedure possible: no
  • Written form required: yes (signed application)
  • personal appearance: no

The application for the exemption certificate must be submitted in writing to the Federal Central Tax Office (BZSt).

  • Download the form from the Online Form Management System (FMS) of the Federal Finance Administration (BFINV) and fill it out.
  • Print out the completed application form. The application form must then be submitted by
    • a legal representative of the investor


  • its authorised representative

be signed.

  • Send the signed form together with the other required documents by post to the headquarters of the Federal Central Tax Office (BZSt) in Bonn.
  • The BZSt will examine your application. If necessary, you will have to answer further questions or submit further documents.
  • If the BZSt approves your application, it will send you the issued exemption certificate by post.
  • Forward the original (no copy) of your exemption certificate to the investment fund by post.
  • The investment fund asserts your tax advantage vis-à-vis the tax authorities.

Delivery of the exemption certificate abroad by post is only possible if this is permissible under international law. For some states, the BZSt is not permitted under international law to deliver the status certificates by post (an up-to-date list of these states can be found on the BZSt website under "Questions and Answers"). In these cases, the indication of a domestic (German) receiving agent is mandatory.

Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF)

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

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