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The culture and tourism tax in Hamburg

The Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg introduced the culture and tourism tax on 1 January 2012. Almost 100 per cent of the revenue is invested in tourism, cultural and sports projects.


What is taxed by the culture and tourism tax?

The tax is levied on the acquisition of an accommodation service in return for payment. This can be, for example, rooms in hotels, motels, guesthouses or guesthouses. It is irrelevant whether the accommodation is actually used for an overnight stay. This means that so-called day rooms are also included. Overnight stays with a compelling occupational purpose are not taxed. Only short-term accommodation for a period of less than two months is subject to the tax.

From whom is the culture and tourism tax levied?

The culture and tourism tax is levied as a so-called "indirect tax". This means that the person liable for the tax is the accommodation provider, who in turn can charge the tax to the overnight guest. However, there is no obligation to pass the tax on to the guest.

So who actually has to pay the culture and tourism tax?

Private travellers pay the culture and tourism tax. This is because in July, the Federal Administrative Court ruled that overnight stays for business reasons should not be subject to such a tax. According to the new draft, business travellers must prove the reason for their stay with an online document (see form Employer Confirmation) and are then exempt from the tax.

How much is the culture and tourism tax?

The tax rate is calculated according to the net charge (excluding VAT) for the overnight stay. There is a graduated scale. From 1st of January 2013, the tax per overnight guest and day will be between 0.50 Euros (for an overnight rate of 10.01 to 25.00 Euros) and four Euros (for an overnight rate of up to 200.00 Euros). For each additional 50.00 Euros net charge or part thereof, the tax increases by one Euro. This means that for an overnight charge of 250.00 Euros, for example, it is five Euros. Business travellers are exempt from the regulation.

Is the culture and tourism tax shown separately on the invoice?

There is no obligation to do so. However, the respective accommodation provider can refer to the cultural and tourism tax passed on in the invoice. Example: "Net price overnight stay 46.00 Euros (including 1.00 Euro culture and tourism tax).

Where can I get more information on the culture and tourism tax?

On this website you will find all important information about the culture and tourism tax.

In addition to the tax forms including annexes, you will also find the relevant leaflets or instructions on this page.

Downloads in German

You can download information sheets and forms on the culture and tourism tax here.

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