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Source: BUS Sachsen-Anhalt (Linie6PLus)

Applying for a refund of vehicle tax for the transportation of vehicles by rail


If you have road vehicles transported on railroad tracks using freight transport, you can have the vehicle tax refunded under certain conditions. Whether and how much the refund is depends on the number of journeys within 12 months and the distance traveled.

Reimbursement of vehicle tax

The tax for the vehicle being transported

  • must be paid regularly in advance,
  • cannot be deferred due to expected refunds and
  • can only be refunded if you have submitted an application within 5 years. Otherwise the claim is time-barred.

You can also apply for reimbursement of the tax-relevant trailer surcharge, regardless of whether the vehicle was transported by rail alone or with a trailer.

The following applies to the refund and payment period:

  • The refund period is 12 months.
  • This must coincide with the start of the payment period, i.e. the period for which you pay tax on the vehicle.
  • As the vehicle owner, you can determine which payment period the decisive 12 months should begin with.
  • Several refund periods do not have to follow each other seamlessly. This means that there can be any amount of time between individual refund periods.
  • If your vehicle is permanently or temporarily immobilized, you have the option of applying for a tax refund for a shorter period.

It is irrelevant for the refund whether

  • the vehicle was transported loaded or empty,
  • all or only part of the journey was made by rail.
  • The following conditions apply for full or partial reimbursement of the 12-month reimbursement period:
    • more than 124 journeys: full refund
    • between 94 and 123 journeys: 75% of the annual tax
    • between 63 and 93 journeys: 50% of the annual tax
    • between 32 and 62 journeys: 25% of the annual tax
  • The supporting documents must be consecutive records of the distances traveled.
  • Each journey must be certified by the domestic or foreign railroad, for example by means of stamped shipping orders.
  • Application for reimbursement of vehicle tax
  • Proof of transportation by rail

There are no costs.

  • Appeal
    Detailed information on how to lodge an objection can be found in the tax assessment notice. You can also lodge an objection online in the customs portal. To do this, select the "Appeal" section under "General services" in the service overview.
  • Appeal to the tax court
    This usually takes place after the objection procedure.

To receive a refund, you must apply for it online or in writing. The main customs office will check your application.

Online application in the customs portal:

  • Register on the customs portal website.
  • Log in as a company with "ELSTER" to access the service in the customs portal.
  • Select the "Motor vehicle tax" service under the heading "Other services" or "Other applications".
  • Submit your online application for a refund there.
  • Attach all supporting documents in digital form.
  • If required, you can retrieve the decision on your application electronically.
  • If approved, you will receive a refund notice and the vehicle tax will be refunded to the account you specified.

Written application:

  • Create an informal application for a refund of the vehicle tax.
  • Submit the application, including all supporting documents, to the relevant main customs office.
  • If your application is approved, you will receive a refund notice and the vehicle tax will be refunded to the account you have specified.

If the distance traveled by rail is longer than 400 kilometers, a trip is counted twice.

If the distance traveled by rail is longer than 800 kilometers, a trip is counted three times.

Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF)

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

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