The major German transactions tax is VAT, levied under the harmonised EU
system. Other significant transactions taxes are excise taxes, insurance tax, real
estate transfer tax, and inheritance and gift tax.
Insurance tax is levied on most
forms of insurance premium. It is paid by the insurance company or agent, but
is invariably passed on to the insured person, and thus has the economic effect
of increasing the insurance costs of resident businesses and individuals.
Real estate transfer tax is effectively a stamp duty on direct or indirect sales of real
estate, while inheritance and gift tax is levied on all forms of capital transfer
between private individuals.