Electricity Tax Relief for Opticians

An optician had the idea of saving money by applying for a cheaper tax rate for electricity. §9 III Stromsteuergesetz (= Act on Electricity Taxation) grants "producing trades" a reduced tax rate. Having to assemble glasses the optician applied for this reduced taxation.

The applying optician considers himself as a member of the group of "producing trades" as he assembles glasses after consulting on which glasses match the individual face, lenses needed, checking acuity, giving hints on caring for vision aids. §2 no. 3 Stromsteuergesetz understands producing trades to be industries like mining, manufacturing, construction, electricity, natural gas, district heating, or water supply - following the classifications of Federal Office for Statistics.

After the optician futily applied, he went to court and fought through all instances. Finally, the BFH ruled its verdict on January 24, 2006 (re VII R 44/04, published on March 15, 2006) that an optician does not qualify as a "producing trade". The court does not deny that this business has some elements of production but the core is to consult its customers and sell vision aids.

Too bad, nice try though...