Do you actually have to pay tax on the profit?

At Günther Jauch, the candidates can win one million euros. But can they actually keep the winnings?

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The show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” started on Monday evening not just with Helmut Kohl’s grandson into the new year. Dorina Klaus, a tax officer from Bad Segeberg, also took a seat on the candidate chair and reported significant weight loss. Günther Jauch also wanted to rely on her previous professional knowledge and asked her whether one would also have to pay taxes on the profit from the show – in Klaus’ case at least 16,000 euros.

The candidate was unsure. Your last state of knowledge is that profits from the shipment are tax-free. In fact, the question is controversial among tax professionals themselves.

Profit: luck or achievement?

First of all: whether taxes have to be paid on the profit from an activity depends on whether an actual service was provided – or it is just luck.

Well-known example: The winner of the “Big Brother” show from 2005, Sascha Sirtl, had to pay taxes on his profit – at least one million euros – six years later as “other income”, which ruined him financially. The case caused an uproar at the time. The Federal Fiscal Court (BFH) decided that it had performed a real activity. After all, he spent a full twelve months in the TV container and was filmed and eavesdropped on continuously.

"Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?": Dorina Klaus from Bad Segeberg reported on her considerable weight loss with Günther Jauch. (Source: TVNOW)“Who will be a millionaire?”: Dorina Klaus from Bad Segeberg reported on her considerable weight loss with Günther Jauch. (Source: TVNOW)

The situation is different when it comes to winning the lottery: Playing the lottery is a matter of pure luck – and is therefore tax-free. But what about “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” out?

Here it depends on the favor of the tax office whether the profit is tax-free. It can be argued that you can influence the course of the program with your knowledge and skills. In practice, however, it will mostly be tax-free, because in most cases you can argue that you need a lot of luck to win a question, such as whether you will get a question that you can really answer.

Tip: In any case, people who make money on TV shows should state it on their tax returns. Because it can quickly happen that the tax authorities want to take some of the money.

Günther Jauch wants to monitor tax cases

And Günther Jauch also reveals in an interview with the TV broadcaster RTL: “After everything I know so far and how it has been handled in practice, I have never met anyone who had to pay tax on this profit from” Wer wird Millionär? “

He also doesn’t know any of the millionaires “who would have once told me: I had to give up half of it”. In that case the title “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” yes also not appropriate.

In any case, Jauch wants to set a “precedent” for candidate Klaus: “We’ll keep a close eye on whether you have to pay tax on the money or not.”


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