In a recent decision from June 2021 (file number 9 K 276/19), the Lower Saxony Fiscal Court commented on minor defects and inaccuracies in the logbook.
The private use of the company car is usually compensated at a flat rate by the 1% rule or determined by keeping a driver’s logbook. Particularly in the case of an expensive company car or very low private use, keeping a logbook is often much more favorable.
Of course, the tax authorities are also aware of this and therefore place strict requirements on the driver’s logbook, including :
- the logbook must be kept in a timely manner and in a closed form
- each individual trip must be recorded, stating the number of kilometers driven and the total number of kilometers driven
- the customers/business clients visited must be listed in the case of business trips.
Even the smallest deficiencies and inaccuracies in the keeping of the logbook can lead to the rejection of the logbook, the consequence is often considerable additional tax payments.
The Lower Saxony Fiscal Court has now explicitly commented on this in its decision. Accordingly, the following is decisive
Minor deficiencies (in the case of dispute, e.g. abbreviations used for customers and location information, missing location information for overnight stays in hotels) do not lead to rejection if the information is plausible overall and there is still a sufficient guarantee that the information is complete and correct.
Furthermore, the FA can be expected to determine missing information on overnight stays in hotels from existing travel expense documents, insofar as individual cases are concerned.
Conclusion of the Fiscal Court:
The requirements for the driver’s logbook must not be overstretched so that the rebuttable typification of the 1% rule does not become an irrefutable typification in practice. Particularly in view of the strongly typifying 1% rule, this would not be justifiable for constitutional reasons – there is a risk of excessive taxation.