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Archive for the 'Food & Drink' Category

Zuckersteuer

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

This podcast also talks about Pfeffersteuer (pepper tax) and Schokoladensteuer (chocolate tax).

Zuckersteuer was a tax in Germany on sugar.  The tax was originally introduced in Prussia in 1841 – one year after the sugar cube was invented.  Sugar had become more popular in previous years following the introduction of the sugar beet.

The tax was discontinued at the end of 1992.

To hear a simple explanation and a short discussion in German, listen to the podcast:

(Press the “play” button to listen to the podcast)

Download the MP3 file



Osterei

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

An Osterei is an Easter Egg, and can refer to different types of eggs.  There are boiled eggs that have been coloured, blown-out egg-shells that have been decorated, and chocolate eggs that often have fillings inside them.

As in many countries, the eggs represent the spring and fertility, and is a tradition that goes back to the 13th Century, even though the term “Osterei” was probably first used in the 17th Century.

Many people hang decorated eggs on twigs in their front gardens.

To hear a simple explanation and a short discussion in German, listen to the podcast:

(Press the “play” button to listen to the podcast)

Download a transcript

Download the MP3 file



Zwischenerzeugnissteuer

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

Zwischenerzeugnissteuer is a tax that is applied to a range of drinks that do not fall into other categories.

Usually these are the products of wine, which has been further processed.  This includes fortified wines, sherry, madeira, and port.

It does not, however, cover sparkling wines.

To hear a simple explanation and a short discussion in German, listen to the podcast:

(Press the “play” button to listen to the podcast)

Download the MP3 file



Biersteuer

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

Biersteuer is a tax that is paid on beer in Germany.  The level of tax is based on the gravity of the beer, measured in Grad Pluto, which is effectively a measurement of the amount of sugar and thus ethanol that the beer contains.

The tax is included in the price of beer when you buy it, and is collected by the government from the brewers.

Homebrewers, whilst not having to pay the tax provided that they do not produce more than 2 hectolitres per year, are still required to register their brewing activities with the customs office.

Alcohol-free beer is not usually taxed in this way, although mixed drinks such as shandy (eg. Radler) are.

To hear a simple explanation and a short discussion in German, listen to the podcast:

(Press the “play” button to listen to the podcast)

Download the MP3 file



Kaffeesteuer

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

Kaffeesteuer is a tax on coffee in Germany.  The tax is included in the price of coffee that is bought in German shops.

The tax originally started in Prussia, but was confirmed in its current form before the formation of the Federal Republic in 1948 in is even mentioned in the German basic law (Grundgesetz).

This causes problems for people who buy their coffee outside of Germany, for example in Dutch supermarkets or by mail order.  Theoretically they should declare the coffee and pay the tax, and failure to do so can cause the tax office to investigate the non-payment.

Whilst the mail-order situation may be clear, buying the coffee for one’s own personal use and bringing it back to Germany causes a conflict between various German tax and custom laws, not to mention EU laws.

To hear a simple explanation and a short discussion in German, listen to the podcast:

(Press the “play” button to listen to the podcast)

Download the MP3 file



 

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