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Millionaires: This is how much German income millionaires earn

Although income is still often a taboo topic in Germany today, the state can get a very detailed picture of the income situation of top earners in Germany through tax returns.

The Federal Statistical Office evaluated the data: The number of income millionaires in Germany rose before the corona crisis. In 2019, a good 27,400 of all recorded wage and income taxpayers had income of at least one million euros, as the Federal Statistical Office announced on Monday. That was 4.6 percent or almost 1,200 more than in 2018. The amount of income generated by millionaires was 2.7 million euros on average across Germany (2018: 2.6 million euros).

The most recent data on income comes from the wage and income tax statistics from 2019. The time lag can be explained by the tax assessment, as most people have four years to submit their tax returns. And only after that the data will be complete.

Most millionaires live in Hamburg and Bavaria

By far the most income millionaires are in Hamburg and Bavaria. In 2019, twelve out of 10,000 persons subject to unlimited income tax liability (1.2 per thousand) in Hamburg had annual incomes in excess of the million mark. In Bavaria it was nine out of 10,000 taxpayers (0.9 per thousand). The proportion was lowest in Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia (0.19 and 0.17 per thousand).

By far the most income is generated by the income millionaires through trade: almost 58 percent of these taxpayers derive their income from commercial operations. Another 20 percent received their income primarily from employed work and 16 percent from self-employed work. Other types of income played only a minor role.

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114,500 taxpayers paid the maximum tax rate of 45 percent

In Germany, a progressive tax rate is applied, so the tax rate increases with increasing income. As a result, the taxpayers are burdened differently. In 2019, annual income from 265,327 euros (or from 530,654 euros for jointly assessed persons) was taxed at the maximum rate of 45 percent. This so-called wealthy tax rate came into effect for around 114,500 taxpayers.

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