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HMRC internal manual

Double Taxation Relief Manual

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Double Taxation Relief Manual: Guidance by country: Germany, Federal Republic of: Pensions

Pensions, other than government pensions, are normally taxable in the country in which the pensioner is resident.

However, under Article 17(3) pensions paid to a United Kingdom resident will be taxable only in Germany where that pension is attributable in whole or in part to contributions which, for a period of more than 15 years, either:

  1. Did not form part of taxable income in Germany;
  2. Were tax deductible in Germany; or
  3. Were tax relieved in some way in Germany.

The provisions of Article 17(3) will not apply if Germany does not effectively tax the pension, if it has already clawed back the tax relief given for contributions or if the 15 year condition is fulfilled in both the United Kingdom and Germany.

Where a United Kingdom resident started to receive a pension from Germany before 30 December 2010, they may elect under Article 32(5) to continue to be taxed solely in the United Kingdom as though Article X of the 1964 Convention continues in force. Such an election is irrevocable.

German social security pensions are taxable only in Germany and are not taxable in the United Kingdom.