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What is income tax? How it works with LLC & Ltd.

Income tax

Definition of income tax

Income tax is a direct tax levied on the income of natural persons. It forms an integral part of many countries' national tax systems and is an important financing mechanism for government spending. In this comprehensive article, we look at the various aspects of income tax, how it is calculated, the relevant types of income and specific rules for international corporate structures such as the Irish limited company and the US LLC.

Introduction to income tax

Definition and meaning

Income tax is a direct tax levied on the income of natural persons. In many countries, it is one of the most important sources of income for the state. The calculation of income tax is based on various types of income, which are explained in detail below.

Basic principles

The basic principle of income tax is the taxation of a person's net income, i.e. income after deduction of certain allowances and deductions. The amount of tax depends on the individual's income and the applicable tax rates.

Types of income

Employment income

Employment income includes salaries, wages, profits from self-employment and pensions. This income generally makes up the largest part of taxable income and is subject to progressive tax rates.

Investment income

Capital income includes dividends, interest and gains from securities. This income is often taxed at a fixed rate, which may be lower than the progressive tax rate on earned income.

Rental income

Income from letting and leasing includes rental income and lease income. This income can be reduced by depreciation and income-related expenses.

Other income

Other income includes inheritances, gifts and lottery winnings. This income is subject to special tax regulations and allowances.

Income tax in Germany

In this article we use Germany as an example for EU member states in order to illustrate the special aspects and circumstances with regard to taxation and the associated laws.

Calculation of income tax

Income tax in Germany is calculated on the basis of taxable income, which is determined after deducting allowances and income-related expenses. Tax progression ensures that higher incomes are subject to higher tax rates.

Tax classes

In Germany, there are different tax brackets that take into account the personal and family circumstances of taxpayers. The tax bracket influences the amount of monthly tax deductions and the calculation of annual income tax.

Allowances and deductions

The most important allowances include the basic allowance, the child allowance and the saver's allowance. Income-related expenses, special expenses and extraordinary expenses can also reduce taxable income.

Tax progression

Progressive taxation ensures that higher incomes are taxed disproportionately more. The progressive tax rate in Germany ranges from 0% to 45%.

International taxation

Double taxation agreement

Double taxation agreement (DTAs) between countries prevent the same income from being taxed twice. These agreements regulate which country has the right to tax certain income.

Tax residency

Tax residency determines the country in which a person or company is resident for tax purposes. taxable is. This residency is defined by factors such as domicile and habitual residence.

Profit distributions and international regulations

Profit distributions from international companies to domestic directors are generally subject to taxation in the director's country of residence. Reinvested profits can often be tax-free remain abroad.

Taxation of companies

Irish Limited

The Irish Limited (Ltd.) is subject to a Corporate income tax from 12.5% to the Company capital. Profit distributions to German directors must be taxed in Germany.


The income of a US LLC is attributed to the individual members and is subject to income tax in the members' country of residence. Profits distributed to German directors are subject to German income tax.

German GmbH and UG

In Germany, GmbHs and UGs are subject to corporation tax. Profits that are distributed to the shareholders are also subject to the shareholders' personal income tax.

Special tax features

Withholding tax

Certain income that is paid abroad may be subject to a Withholding tax are levied. This is usually paid to the tax authorities in the country of origin.

Profit reinvestment

Undistributed profits that are reinvested can often be exempt from income tax. This allows companies to use their profits for business purposes without additional tax burdens.

Tax reporting obligations

Companies and individuals must regularly report their income and tax obligations. This includes the annual tax return and, if necessary, other reports to national and international tax authorities.

FAQs on income tax

What is income tax?

Income tax is a direct tax levied on the income of natural persons.

Which types of income are subject to income tax?

Employment income, investment income, rental income and other income.

How is income tax calculated in Germany?

The tax is calculated on the basis of the taxable income, which is determined after deduction of allowances and income-related expenses.

What are double taxation agreements?

Double taxation agreements are treaties between countries that prevent the same income from being taxed twice.

How does tax residency affect taxation?

Tax residency determines the country in which a person or company is liable to pay tax.

How are profits from international companies taxed?

Profits distributed to domestic directors are subject to taxation in the director's country of residence.


Income tax is a complex and multifaceted topic that encompasses both national and international aspects. By understanding the different types of income, tax regulations and special features, taxpayers can optimize their tax burden and ensure that they meet their obligations.

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Disclaimer: Please note that the above dates, tax rates and regulations may change over time. Do not make any independent decisions without first consulting an expert for your individual situation. It is in your interest to always receive individual information from an experienced expert who knows your situation.

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