What will become of the solidarity surcharge? This question could be one of the crucial economic policy debates of the new year. The fronts run through the middle of the government coalition.

The CDU has already decided on its party Congress in December, the solidarity surcharge is still in this parliamentary term – until 2021 – to completely abolish and not let you in the new year locker.

The most recent word message comes from Saxony, the CDU-Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer, appealed at the weekend to the SPD, to ensure a swift end to the solos. “I am in favour of the solos until the end of the parliamentary term, completely to abolish and expect that the SPD moves at this point,” said Kretschmer, the Newspapers of the Funke media group. A tax relief for the power makers in society was urgently required.

De facto, a surcharge for high-income earners

The solidarity surcharge was introduced in 1991 in order to cope with the additional burdens in the household and is collected since 1995, permanently. There is a surcharge of 5.5 percent on the income tax. In 2017, the a brought the state almost 18 billion euros. Almost 14 billion were paid according to the estimate of the German Institute for economic research (DIW) of the income-strongest 20 percent of the population. The Soli is a de facto surcharge for high-income earners.

The tax, which was justified at the time of their introduction, with the costs of German unity, is therefore criticized for years. So close to the abolition of the policy, however, was probably never and this is mainly due to the new resolve of the Union.

the CDU and the CSU are Driven from the opposition FDP. Their boss, Christian Lindner, made at Epiphany meeting of his party again pressure on the CDU and the CSU: The Union have announced a complete abolition of the solos though. But while the CDU had hidden in the Jamaica soundings with the FDP and Green behind the Figures, hiding now behind the SPD, criticized Lindner.

Actually, the SPD does not move so far. You want to adhere to what has been agreed in the coalition agreement with the CDU and the CSU: a abolition of the solos for 90 percent of current payers – but not for the top ten percent. Afterwards, the SPD Finance Minister, Olaf Scholz, insists: “In the coalition negotiations, we have agreed to, for good reasons, that citizens should have to pay a very high income, more solos,” said Scholz, the “picture on Sunday”. He “assumed that our coalition partners stick to the agreement”.

Who by a Soli-abolition

benefits of The current plans of the coalition agreement, a free-at-frontier. Who is with his income, including, no longer has to pay the Soli in the future. Who earns more, pays more. Singles would be exempt up to a taxable annual income of 61,000 Euro from the solos, to € 76,000, there would be at least a partial discharge. All of the above, would have to pay a lot of solos as in the past. For Married couples the limits are, therefore, twice as high. If you add all the allowances, is expected to earn, a couple with two children in the future, approximately € 150,000, without having to pay a surcharge.

With the income tax calculator of the IW Cologne, you can check whether you have to pay according to the original plans of the coalition in the future solos. To do this, select the scenario “without solos (for 90%)”. The scenario “without the solos”, however, shows the tax burden in the case of a complete abolition, as demanded by the Union.

The calculator shows that only high income of the would completely benefit abolition of the solos – Top-earners are not included in the calculation, because there is a lack of simple to the data for this merit classes. The computer will therefore only work for gross salaries up to € 200,000.

But who is, would benefit from a complete abolition. Those who earn about one Million euros in the year, would have to pay according to the Minister of Finance Scholz 24,000 euros less tax. “Even I, as a Federal Minister with 180,000 euros in annual income taxes, by the complete abolition of about 3600 euros per year to save,” said Scholz. “This is not the right way.”

Some Economists doubt even the planned part of the abolition of Soli. They argue that self-Scholz’ plans would tend to relieve the upper middle class, not low income earners. Because the numbers, no solos.

At the end of the dispute between the SPD and the Union can so to a simple question break it down: if you Want to relieve the burden on only the middle layer a bit (SPD), or the middle layer a bit, and the upper layer significantly more (CDU). Low income earners are not affected.

More on the topic of Imago taxes are The main facts: to control Everything

With Material from dpa and AFP

Sam Yoon has many years of experiences in journalism. He has covered such areas as information technology, science, sports and politics. Yoon can be reached at 82-2-6956-6698.