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BFH: "Premium" paid by health insurance reduces tax deduction

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The tax authorities also have their share in the contribution savings through a deductible tariff in statutory health insurance. Because, as in private health insurance, a "premium" paid by the health insurance fund is also reimbursed for contributions that are to be deducted from the tax-reducing health insurance contributions, as the Federal Finance Court (BFH) in Munich decided in a judgment published on Wednesday, September 5, 2018 ( Ref .: XR 41/17).

In 2007, so-called election tariffs were introduced to stimulate competition among statutory health insurance funds. These can refer to additional services, but almost all health insurance companies also offer optional tariffs with a deductible.

The plaintiff had chosen such a tariff with an annual excess of up to 550 euros. If he had not used any or only a few benefits, he would get back up to € 450 as a “bonus” at the beginning of the following year. In the worst case for him, the premium is canceled and he pays 100 euros a year for high health expenses.

The year 2013 was a blast for his health, so in 2014 he received the full premium of 450 euros. In the same year he paid contributions totaling almost 4,000 euros.

He claimed these contributions in full in his tax return as special tax-reducing expenses. The tax office did not fully recognize this. It reduced the special expenses by the “premium” of the health insurance company in the amount of 450 euros.

And rightly so, as the BFH decided in its judgment of June 6, 2018, which has now been published in writing. The "premium" is completely "comparable to the classic premium refunds from private health insurance", which also led to a lower deduction for special expenses. “In both cases, the insured person receives a payment from his health insurance company because he has not used it or only to a lesser extent. As a result, his contribution payments are reduced. ”

On the other hand, a “premium” granted for the risk of excess is not comparable with so-called bonus benefits, with which some health insurance companies reimburse the costs of certain sports courses or other health-promoting expenses. Because this is about reimbursement of additional expenses. This has nothing to do with the contributions paid for the basic protection of statutory health insurance.

In 2011, the Federal Social Court (BSG) in Kassel set strict limits on such deductible tariffs in statutory health insurance. According to this, such tariffs have to be paid for themselves, for co-insured family members they are not permitted (judgment and JurAgentur report of November 8, 2011, file number: B 1 A 1/11 R). mwo / fle

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