Germany & Other Sport Horse Nations May Face Big Sales Tax Increases

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Dr. Klaus Miesner of the German FN
Dr. Klaus Miesner of the German FN

WARENDORF, Germany, Oct. 13–The European Commission has filed a complaint with the European Court seeking to end reduced sales taxes on horses in Germany, Austria, France and Luxembourg.

The impact could be devastating for horse breeders. The effect in Germany, for example, would raise the value added tax from the current seven per cent to a whopping 19 per cent that is the standard rate.

Dr. Klaus Miesner, a member of the board of directors the German Equestrian Federation (FN), said the complaint by the EU was not surprising as a similar complaint had been filed against The Netherlands.

The tax would have an impact on breeding and sales of horses, he said.

The FN would join with breeding associations and lobbyists both nationally and internationally to fight any increase in taxes on horse sales.

If the value added tax is raised to the same level as other non-agricultural products, there would not be an immediate direct import on exports as foreign sales are tax-exempt. However, the horse industry fears that a significant increase in taxes would reduce sales domestically thus diminishing the breeding business.