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Sparkling wine tax

Germany is the last country in the EU where one sparkling wine or sparkling wine tax must be paid (as of 2009). It was introduced in 1902 by Kaiser Wilhelm II (1859-1941) to finance the Kaiser Wilhelm Canal (Kiel Canal since 1948) and the imperial navy. At that time it was 50 pfennigs per bottle. The effect paid off, because in 1905 11 million bottles became German sparkling wine taxed. The tax was abolished in 1933 as a measure to overcome the economic crisis, but was reintroduced in 1939 in the form of a war surcharge, especially for the development of the submarine fleet. It provoked the production of the cheapest sparkling wines. The legal text in the official German reads: In summary, these are sparkling wines in bottles with sparkling wine stoppers, which are attached by a special holding device, or which have an excess pressure of 3 bar or more due to dissolved carbon dioxide at plus 20 ° Celsius and depending on the alcohol content and composition of the position 2204, 2205 or 2206 of the customs tariff. The alcohol content must be at least 1.2% by volume and not more than 15% by volume.

It is therefore not advisable to use one Perlwein with one by one Agraffe (Wire baskets) secured champagne corks, because then the sparkling wine tax is due regardless of the carbon dioxide pressure. In addition to sparkling wines (sparkling wine, champagne), a similar consumption tax also applies to so-called intermediate products how Madeira. port wine and sherry, A 0.75 l bottle of sparkling wine is taxed at 6% vol alcohol at € 0.38 and from 6% vol at € 1.02. The amount of sparkling wine tax in Germany is around 450 million euros per year, which is understandable the desire of the finance minister.

In Austria, this tax was suspended on April 1, 2005, the most recent amount per liter was € 1.44. However, it was only decommissioned so that it could be reintroduced at any time. This was done on the basis of economic calculations, because the sales of sparkling wine had fallen by up to 10% annually and the share of tax-free ones Frizzante rose from abroad. In Austria, the base wines come almost 100% from their own country. In Germany, however, up to 80% of the base wines are imported, especially from Italy. Finally, under protest from the producers, who regard this as "discrimination against a product", the tax was reactivated from March 2014 at € 1.00 per bottle.

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