Techno is music and the DJ is a musician

The German Federal Finance Court has declared “techno is music and the DJ is a musician”.

The Federal Finance Court in Germany will now treat club nights like concerts for tax purposes. Clubs now have to pay only 7% tax on their ticket sales, not 19%. The tax cuts are determined by wether “average visitor” to the event is there for the music.

Entrance fees for techno and house concerts are tax-reduced in accordance with Section 12 (2) No. 7 (a) UStG if these music performances represent the actual purpose of the event and the additional services are of such minor importance that they reflect the character of the music performance not affect.

The performance of techno and house music by various DJs can give an event the character of a concert or a concert-like event even if the music performances take place regularly (weekly) (continuation of the BFH judgment of August 18, 2005 – VR 50/04 , BFHE 211, 557, BStBl II 2006, 101)..

Then turntables, mixing consoles and CD players can also count as instruments, at least if they are “used to perform the piece of music and not just to play a sound carrier”.

The judges decided that this was the case in both cases:

In a roundabout way, the German Federal Finance Court states: Techno is music and the DJ is a musician.

“The DJs not only play sound carriers from other sources, but also perform their own new pieces of music by using instruments in the broader sense to create sequences of sounds with their own character.”

Tax officials claimed that a place where people dance, have fun and take drugs is “ruled by entertainment, not by culture.  The club’s management claimed that the same logic could be applied to classical music. The Berlin-Brandenburg fiscal court in Cottbus ruled that events at Berghain are indeed cultural events. And will from now on be taxed like classical cultural events.