Charity (Wohltätigkeitsorganisation)

A German charity is an organisation that pursues

Recognition as a tax-privileged organisation further requires that the charitable organisation pursues such purposes selflessly (selbstlos), exclusively (ausschließlich) and directly (unmittelbar). Finally, a charitable organisation is not allowed to accumulate income (Gebot der zeitnahen Mittelverwendung).

An organization that pursues charitable purposes abroad must assist persons resident or domiciled in Germany or, among other things, make some contribution to the prestige of the German state abroad. See § 51(2) AO.  While foreign charity generally must comply with the same tests as German charities, in order to get beneficial tax treatment, this requirement often cannot be met. 

Charities in Germany are generally organised as