File 868/1904 Pt 1 'Consular: Exemption of Foreign Consular Officers from Imperial and Municipal Taxation' [175r] (49/113)
The record is made up of 1 item (53 folios). It was created in 19 Aug 1884-18 Apr 1911. It was written in English and French. The original is part of the British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers.
This transcription is created automatically. It may contain errors.
negotiated with the German Government, in which the rights and immunities of British
Consular officers in the whole ol the German Empire should be clearly defined, either
separately in a Consular Convention or embodied in a general Treaty of Friendship,
Commerce, and Navigation.
In the Kingdom of Prussia the liability of foreign Consular officers to pay income tax
is laid down in section 3 of the Prussian Income Tax Law of the 24th June, 1891.
It is there stated that, included among the persons freed from its payment, are (see
Head IV) ‘‘those persons who, by international custom, or under special Agreements with
other States, are entitled to exemption from income tax.”
(This includes “ Consules Missi ” of foreign Powers, but not Prussian subjects
acting as foreign Consuls, “Consules Electi/’ nor the staff of “ Consules Missi.”)
I hat paragraph goes on to say that this exemption does not extend to any taxable
income derived from the Prussian State, landed property situate in Prussia, or commercial
and industrial undertakings. Moreover, it is in no case permissible to grant the exemption
where a like reciprocity is not accorded in foreign countries.
1 he Dutch “ de carri&re ” Consular officers are all (including Vice-Consuls) exempted
in Prussia (later, in the whole German Empire), under Article 13 of the Dutch-German
Consular Convention, of the 16th June, 1856, with Prussia (extended to all Germany on
the 11th January, 1872), so long as they are not Prussian subjects. This frees them from
paying income tax, both to the State and Commune* (“ Staat-und Gemeinde Einkom-
mensteuer ’). 1 he Concession is granted for so long as similar freedom from taxation
is granted to corresponding officials of the German Empire in the Netherlands and in
It is to be noticed that, in this Prussian Income Tax Law (see Head III of section 3),
foreign Diplomatic Representatives, accredited to the Emperor-King, and their staffs, as
w'ell as the foreign servants in the employ of both, are freed from paying the tax.
Another Prussian law, the “ Erganzungssteuergesetz ” (Additional Taxation Law) I
of the 14th July, 1893, must be mentioned here, as it was passed in order to enable heavier I
taxes to be placed on income derived from “ property,” with the direct object of Supple-1
menting the Prussian Income Tax Law of 1891. It covers all movable and immovable I
property, and falls upon invested and working capital.
This law (in section 3) exempts from its operation the same persons as are mentioned l
in section 3 of the Prussian Income Tax Law of 1891 ; but it appears that, under a \
decision of the Prussian Ministry of Finance, the lower Dutch Consular officials are not
considered as exempted therefrom by virtue of the Consular Convention with the
In this law r emphasis is again laid on the prerequisition of reciprocity, without which -
the exemptions mentioned will not be granted.
therefore, liable to payment of income tax on their office allowances, and they are subject '
* The latter are purely Municipal taxes, but are based, as a matter of convenience,-on the State income
Part III.— Liability of Foreign Consular Officers to pay Income Tax in Prussia.
(6.) The Case of British Consular Officers.
The position of British Consular Representatives with regard to exemption of income
tax may be thus briefly stated :—
Seeing that reciprocity is the essential preliminary condition of exemption in both
the Prussian Income Tax Laws of 1891 and 1893, and in view of the fact that in the
United Kingdom foreign Consular officers enjoy no exemption in matters of taxation other
fhan that of freedom from income tax on their official salaries, such British Representatives
as are “ Consules Missi ” (i.e., those at Stettin and Dantzig) can claim, on the ground of
reciprocity, exemption from those laws as regards their official salaries only. They are,
About this item
Part 1 concerns exemption of Foreign Consular officers from Imperial and Municipal Taxation. It contains:
- correspondence regarding the claim of the Consul-General for France at Calcutta to exemption from Municipal taxation;
- privileges to the Persian and Turkish Consuls-Generals in the matter of Imperial customs duty and municipal taxation;
- claim of the Imperial German Consul-General at Calcutta to exemption from the payment of Municipal taxes;
- request of the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador that their Consuls in India may be exempted from payment of taxes;
- claim of the United States Consul at Rangoon (Yangon, Myanmar) to exemption from municipal taxation.
The principal correspondents are the Consul-General for France at Calcutta; the Persian Consul-General; the Imperial German Consul-General at Calcutta; the Foreign Department of the Government of India; the Secretary of State for India; the Foreign Office; and the India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. . Some of the letters from Consul-General for France at Calcutta are in French.
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- File 868/1904 Pt 1 'Consular: Exemption of Foreign Consular Officers from Imperial and Municipal Taxation'
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