Introduction of the culture and tourism tax in Hamburg - Visitor satisfaction is our number one priority.

The Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg will introduce the Culture and Tourism Tax on 1 January 2013. The introduction of the tax is a political decision that has been discussed very controversially in the city and will certainly lead to further discussions in the future. On the positive side, the Senate has made a political promise: The revenues are to be invested 100 percent in tourism, cultural and sports projects that will benefit Hamburg's image and ultimately also the tourism industry. With the introduction of the culture and tourism tax, Hamburg joins the ranks of international metropolises such as New York, Barcelona and Zurich, some of which have been levying this tax for years. A tourism levy is therefore nothing new for Hamburg visitors with travel experience.

The "Hamburg solution": unlike in other German cities and municipalities, the levy should not disappear into the big budget pot. By collecting the culture and tourism tax, more money is to be used in the cultural sector, but also for sports events and tourism marketing. This special "Hamburg solution" is intended to benefit all institutions involved in tourism and thus above all Hamburg's guests. The tourism industry of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg will in future measure those responsible by their political promise and pay very close attention to the use of the funds.

Despite all the controversial discussions about the introduction of the tax, one important goal must not be overlooked - namely that Hamburg visitors will not be burdened by it. The satisfaction of our guests is at the forefront of our actions. Because only satisfied guests come back. Hamburg Tourismus and Hamburg Marketing GmbH will do their utmost to accompany this goal in the interests of the destination and the tourism industry.

What is taxed by the culture and tourism tax?

Tax is levied on the acquisition of an accommodation service against payment. These can be, for example, rooms in hotels, motels, guesthouses or guesthouses. It is irrelevant whether the accommodation possibility is actually used for one overnight stay. This means that so-called day rooms are also recorded. Overnight stays with a compelling occupational reason are not taxed. The tax only covers short-term accommodation that extends over a period of less than two months.

Who pays the cultural and tourism tax?

The cultural and tourism tax is levied as an "indirect tax". This means that the tax debtor is the accommodation company, which 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?

The culture and tourism tax is paid by private travellers. Because: In July, the Federal Administrative Court had ruled that professionally arranged overnight stays must not be covered by such a tax. According to the new draft, business travellers must prove the reason for their stay with an online document (see employer confirmation form) and are then exempted from the tax.

What is the cultural and tourism tax?

The tax rate is calculated on the basis of the net payment (excluding VAT) for the overnight stay. The tax rate is staggered. From 1 January 2013, the tax per overnight guest and day is between 0.50 euros (with an overnight price of 10.01 to 25.00 euros) and four euros (with up to 200.00 euros overnight price). For each additional 50.00 Euro net fee or part thereof, the tax increases by one Euro. This means: With an overnight stay price of 250.00 euros, for example, there are five euros. Business travellers are excluded from the regulation.

Will the cultural and tourism tax be shown separately in the invoice?

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

Where can I get further information about 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 and attachments, you will also find the relevant leaflets and instructions on this page.

Downloads in German language

You can download leaflets and forms for the culture and tourism tax here.

Downloads in English language

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