The German E-Commerce and Mail Order Association bevh (Bundesverband E-Commerce und Versandhandel e.V.) and innatura gGmbH are calling for donations in kind to charitable institutions to be completely exempt from sales tax.
“Here, the state must move from being a brake on donations to being a promoter of the willingness to donate in Germany,” says bevh President Gero Furchheim. “If donations in kind to charitable institutions were assessed at a value of EUR 0, this would be the most effective lever for avoiding the destruction of backlogs and returns. A step that is long overdue and indispensable in terms of sustainability and resource efficiency.
Some of the products that were originally intended for sale are now often disposed of instead of being used sustainably. This applies to manufacturers as well as to stationary and online retailers and means that not only defective goods are disposed of, but also a very small proportion of still functional goods. Manufacturers and retailers would donate such goods to charitable organizations such as mother and child facilities, refugee aid, educational institutions or initiatives for the homeless. If, however, the expenses for bookkeeping, storage and transport are already considerable in the case of donations, the tax burden would be added as a massive complication. Currently, two out of three companies that are interested in donations in kind are apparently deciding against making a donation because of the uncertainties and costs involved.