The Berlin City Tax is due for payment for bookings made from the 1st of January 2014 and affects all private overnight stays.
The City Tax amounts to five percent of the room rate (net price), excluding VAT and fees for amenities and services such as mini-bar, sauna or spa area. Only private overnight stays are subject to the tax. The collection of the tax is limited to 21 successive days.
The City Tax is collected by the accommodation providers and added to the hotel bill. It is an indirect tax: The accommodation providers have to transfer the tax and are authorised to claim the same amount of money from their guests in turn. They are not obliged to pass the fee on to their guests, though. Accommodation providers are defined as businesses that provide short-term overnight accommodation, such as hotels, guest houses, private landlords, independent hostels, youth hostels and campsites.
Business travellers are exempt from the City Tax and do not have to pay. They do, however, have to be able to prove the business purpose of their trip.
The business purpose of a trip can be verified by a bill that is paid by or issued to the employer, or a letter from the company. If the accommodation is booked by the employer in the first place, no further proof is necessary. People travelling in groups must verify the business purpose of their trip individually.