Due to the planned state gas levy and the associated significant price increases, there is growing concern that private households will be overburdened financially. The coalition is examining the elimination of VAT on the levy.
The gas surcharge is to be introduced for companies and private households in October. It is intended to benefit gas suppliers who have to buy replacements for missing, cheaper gas volumes from Russia at high prices. Economics Minister Habeck recently named a range of 1.5 to 5 cents per kilowatt hour in which the gas levy is expected to move.
"The levy must not be the basis for further tax revenue. That is why it is currently being examined whether the VAT can be applied to the levy," said the energy policy spokesman for the FDP parliamentary group, Michael Kruse, the dpa news agency after a special meeting of the energy and climate committee of the Bundestag.
"If this is not technically possible, it is clear to me that the additional government revenue must be returned to consumers together with further relief."
A spokesman for the Ministry of Finance said that under the current legal situation, the gas levy is part of the assessment basis for calculating sales tax. The ministry is examining ways to ensure that gas customers do not incur any additional burdens in this context.
The CDU energy politician Andreas Jung told the "Welt" that the federal government must immediately withdraw its plan to add 19 percent VAT to the gas levy. "The state shouldn't be allowed to make money from this additional burden."
The German Association of Cities brought state aid for overburdened households into play. "The federal government should reduce the surcharge through state subsidies if prices on the market continue to rise and there is a risk of too great a burden on consumers and the economy," said Markus Lewe, President of the City Council.
Do customers with fixed-price contracts have to pay?
There are also legal problems with the implementation of the levy. Specifically, the question is whether customers with fixed-price contracts have to pay the levy. A spokesman for the Ministry of Economic Affairs spoke of a detail that had to be clarified.
Additional burden for singles up to 300 euros
According to calculations by the comparison portal Verivox, the additional costs including VAT range from 1.5 cents to 5 cents per kilowatt hour for a single household with an annual consumption of 5000 kilowatt hours of gas per year between 89 euros and 298 euros.
In a couple household with an annual consumption of 12,000 kilowatt hours, the additional costs would be between 214 and 714 euros, for a household with a single-family house and an annual consumption of 20,000 kilowatt hours between 357 and 1190 euros.
According to Verivox, if VAT were to be eliminated, the single household would be relieved by between 14 and 48 euros, the couple household by 34 to 114 euros and the household with a single-family house by between 57 and 190 euros.