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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

August 29, 2011

Only in Germany

Filed under Life in Europe

How much should you pay for a hotdog? In Germany it apparently depends on whether you are standing or sitting.

Well, to be technical, it would not be a hotdog in the American sense, but a sausage, sometimes with a bun and sometimes cut up with french fries. Imbissstand You can get a "Currywurst" or something similar an an "Imbissstand" [snack stand] all over Germany. However, how much you might pay for the quick meal will now be decided by whether you eat it while standing or sitting down, and whether the proprietor passes on the savings to you. In Germany it seems everything is regulated, and Germany’s highest tax court has decided that if an Imbissstand only has a small counter where you can place your meal while eating it (like the one in the photo), you should only be charged the reduced sales tax rate of 7 percent. However, if the Imbissstand also offers tables and chairs for customers to take a seat (if they so desire), you are to pay the full sales tax rate of 19 percent even if you don’t sit down while you eat your meal. Since the decision was just rendered by the tax court, it remains to be seen whether Imbissstand owners will adjust their prices at all. Most likely the prices will remain the same for the sake of competition.

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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