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Die Risikoausgleichsrücklage als Instrument des landwirtschaftlichen Risikomanagements

Listed author(s):
  • Bahrs, Enno
  • Blanck, Niklas
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    In Anbetracht zunehmender Einkommensschwankungen aufgrund von Witterungsextremen und höherer Volatilitäten an den Agrarrohstoffmärkten fordert der Deutsche Bauernverband im Ertragsteuerrecht die Einführung einer Risikoausgleichsrücklage für landwirtschaftliche Einkünfte. Progressionsbedingte Mehrbelastungen schwankender Einkommen sollen vermieden und eine eigenbetriebliche Liquiditätsvorsorge steuerlich gefördert werden. Der vorliegende Beitrag untersucht neben den betriebswirtschaftlichen Auswirkungen der Ausgleichsrücklage insbesondere deren steuerrechtliche Zulässigkeit und die administrative Umsetzbarkeit. Der mit einer Risikoausgleichsrücklage verbundene interperiodische Einkommensausgleich dient im Sinne des Leistungsfähigkeitsprinzips der Steuergerechtigkeit; die Beschränkung auf landwirtschaftliche Einkünfte ist jedoch nur zulässig, wenn besondere Umstände hierfür sprechen und Restriktionen sicherstellen, dass nur landwirtschaftsspezifische Nachteile ausgeglichen werden können. Die administrative Umsetzung auf einzelbetrieblicher Ebene ist im Hinblick auf Definition, Messung und Bewertung von Nachteilen mit vielen Problemen und Abgrenzungsschwierigkeiten behaftet und wird durch unterschiedliche Gewinnermittlungsarten erschwert. Restriktive Vorgaben schränken die Zugriffs- und Verwendungsmöglichkeiten betrieblicher Liquidität ein. Aus diesen Gründen ist zweifelhaft, ob eine Risikoausgleichsrücklage für landwirtschaftliche Einkünfte analog zum Forstschäden-Ausgleichsgesetz im Spannungsfeld zwischen geforderter Steuergerechtigkeit und administrativer Umsetzbarkeit betriebswirtschaftlich sinnvoll einsetzbar sein kann. Due to an increasing variability in farm income because of extreme weather conditions and higher market volatilities, the German Farmers Association demanded the introduction of income equalization deposits for agricultural income to avoid a progression-based extra tax load and to support farmers building reserve funds. This article examines the economic effects as well as the legitimacy according to German tax law and its administrative practicability. Fundamentally, smoothing income over several years is admissible according to the German ability-to-pay principle. Nevertheless, a restriction to a particular group of tax payers is only acceptable if special circumstances faced by this group seem to make it necessary. This constraint demands restrictions on deposit and withdrawal which are linked to specific agricultural difficulties. Due to a couple of problems and difficulties in definition, measurement and valuation on an on-farm level, the administrative feasibility of these restrictions is limited. Different types of profit assessment for farmers complicate a fair and straight-forward usage. It is uncertain if income equalization deposits will be a useful risk management tool for farmers while simultaneously meeting all legal requirements in German tax law.

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    Article provided by Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin, Department for Agricultural Economics in its journal German Journal of Agricultural Economics.

    Volume (Year): 58 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()

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    Handle: RePEc:ags:gjagec:134436
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    1. Lishman, J.-L. & Nieuwoudt, W. Lieb, 2003. "An analysis of factors contributing to the use of an income equalisation deposit scheme by commercial farmers in South Africa," Agrekon, Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA), vol. 42(4), December.
    2. Buffier, B.D. & Metternick-Jones, M.A., 1995. "Income Equalisation Deposits: Enhancing Farm Viability," Review of Marketing and Agricultural Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 63(01), April.
    3. Monke, James D., 1997. "Do Farmers Need Tax-Deferred Savings Accounts to Help Manage Income Risk?," Agricultural Information Bulletins 33737, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    4. Kevin Z. Chen & Karl D. Meilke, 1996. "A Reevaluation of Canada's Safety Net Programs for Agriculture," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 44(4), pages 361-368, December.
    5. Isabelle Huault & V. Perret & S. Charreire-Petit, 2007. "Management," Post-Print halshs-00337676, HAL.
    6. Dismukes, Robert & Durst, Ron L., 2006. "Whole-Farm Approaches to a Safety Net," Economic Information Bulletin 33893, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
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