Berlin clubs could face crippling tax increase

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  • The Finanzamt is retroactively taxing Berlin clubs 19% of their door fees, up from 7%.
  • Berlin clubs could face crippling tax increase image
  • According to BLN.FM, Berlin clubs could be facing a potentially fatal increase in taxes, with the Finanzamt demanding 19% of all door revenue since 2005, instead of the previously agreed upon 7%. The confusion stems from whether or not club events count as concerts. Technically, nightclubs and discos have always been obligated to pay 19% of their door revenues in taxes, but since 2005 the Finanzamt agreed that house and techno events should be considered concerts, since the DJ is often the main attraction and there is usually some live performance over the course of the night. But now the tax office has changed its tune after doing a bit of field research and finding that events at Berlin clubs like Berghain, Watergate, Cookies etc. are very social events in which most people are not facing the DJ and many attendees are unaware of who is even playing. As a result, they are reneging on the stance they took in 2005 and want to retroactively tax these clubs 19% of their door fees instead of 7%. Needless to say, this means that many of Berlin's clubs could suddenly owe millions of Euros in taxes, which for some would be a fatal blow. No word yet on how clubs are responding to this crisis.