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Requirements for exception of the “culture tax” (“Kulturförderabgabe”) [updated II]

Tourist-Tax, Grafik: DEHOGA

Since December 1st 2014 the City of Cologne raises a new so called “Kulturförderabgabe” (“culture tax”). We have to add 5% to the price for lodging as this tax. Those who travel for work or business reasons do not need to pay this tax, if they hand out all the necessary documents at check-in. Please understand that we have to collect the tax anyway if the documents are not complete or have faults. These are the requirements:

For employed persons:

  1. The form „Erklärung des Beherbergungsgastes zur Kulturförderabgabe” (with all fields filled correctly and sighed).
  2. Confirmation of the employer
    1. A form for the necessary confirmation of the employer can be downloaded form the city’s website.
    2. If the confirmation of the employer is done not on this form, make sure it is in German language on business letter paper or with a business stamp. The employer has to certify doubtless that the accommodation of his employee was necessary for work-related mandatory reasons. The exact period of the stay must be named! (Link: phrasing assistance)
    3. “Other documents, which prove that the accommodation is or was necessary for work-related mandatory reasons.” Please be aware that the work-related mandatory reason can be checked by the city administration with your employer.

For self-employed persons:

  1. The form „Erklärung des Beherbergunsgastes zur Kulturförderabgabe” (with all fields filled correctly and sighed). You must put your fiscal authority for income tax on this form or have other documents.

Download-links for the forms and information by the City of Cologne about this tax:


This is the address for complaints about this procedure related to the City of Cologene:

Amt für Anregungen und Beschwerden
Ludwigstr. 8
50667 Köln
Fax: 0221-22126065
e-mail: geschaeftsstelle-anregungen-beschwerden@stadt-koeln.de

Free WiFi via Freifunk

Freifunk - Free WiFi spotThe Freifunk-WiFI-Hotspot has proven itself as quite reliable in our house since summer 2015. It offers free WiFi-Internet via the Freifunk-network. The availability of this non-commercial service can not be guaranteed. But this hotspot has also the advantage that no login is necessary.

As before, you may also buy tickets for the well-tried Hotsplots Internet-access, which offers a big bandwidth.

Freifunk Köln, Bonn, Umgebung