Germany agrees tax relief for computer purchases

Computer gaming enthusiasts play new games in Cologne, Germany, August 21, 2019.

BERLIN, Jan 20 (Reuters) - German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz expects annual tax relief of around 2.3 billion euros from a new measure to support purchases of digital assets like computers and software, the ministry said on Wednesday.

The federal and state governments agreed on Tuesday, when they extended lockdown for most shops and schools until Feb. 14, that digital assets could be depreciated retroactively to Jan. 1.

Scholz told Reuters that digitisation should be supported.

"I want to make a quick, targeted and unbureaucratic contribution to this with the tax law," he said.

The measure means digital assets will now be fully deductible in the year of purchase. Up to now, digital assets such as laptops, printers, scanners or monitors were written off over several years.

"This will provide a great tax incentive to invest in computers, software and digitalisation. This is also good news for all those who are currently working in a home office," Scholz said.

Over a planned period of five years, the stimulus for consumers and companies should add up to 11.5 billion euros, the ministry said.

Reporting by Christian Kraemer Writing by Paul Carrel

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