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In Reiche bereiten sich auf die Vermögensteuer vor, Vermögensteuer is spelt with a single -s-. But in the online dictionary that I use, the word is spelt with a double -ss-: Vermögenssteuer.

Is this not the same word (wealth tax)? If it is the same word, meaning the same thing, why the different spelling? Or is it yet another mistake in the German press that I've (quite) unwittingly unearthed?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Duden lists both as possible spellings:

Vermögensteuer

Vermögenssteuer

with the same meaning:

Steuer, die nach jemandes Vermögen (2) bemessen wird und bei der das Vermögen Gegenstand der Besteuerung ist


The wikipedia page uses Vermögenssteuer though.

Wiktionary uses Vermögenssteuer but lists Vermögensteuer as an alternative spelling.

BWT: Here are some details about the usage of Fugenlaut.


I myself would use Vermögenssteuer and haven't heard Vermögensteuer so far...


Edit: Comparison on television/news sites (source: google search results):

 --------------------------------------------------
| Site          | Vermögensteuer | Vermögenssteuer |
| zdf.de        |        38      |       364       |
| ard.de        |         7      |      1130       |
| heute.de      |        45      |        57       |
| tagesschau.de |        95      |       583       |
 --------------------------------------------------
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Danke. If I'm not asking too much, could you please provide me with a rough translation of the sentence? (I haven't been able to find the (probable) verb *vorreichen, and I don't know if bereiten means to prepare, to make up or to cause. –  indoxica Jul 18 '13 at 10:52
    
If you are asking for a translation of: "Reiche bereiten sich auf die Vermögensteuer vor": It's something like: "The rich prepare themselves for wealth tax." An alternative would be: "The rich brace themselves for wealth tax." –  Baz Jul 18 '13 at 10:55
    
So the actual verb I should have been looking for was vorbereiten. And Reiche means rich man. That's what happens when you're still a beginner in the language. I do appreciate your help. –  indoxica Jul 18 '13 at 11:01
    
@indoxica You're welcome. Learning a foreign language is never easy ;) –  Baz Jul 18 '13 at 11:01
    
Indeed. That's why on my profile page I wrote Language is courage. –  indoxica Jul 18 '13 at 11:04

When searching the official page from the German ministery of finance we can find both, "Vermögensteuer", and "Vermögenssteuer" but the first is far more often used:

Google site search on site:http://www.bundesfinanzministerium.de

  • "Vermögensteuer": 566 results
  • "Vermögenssteuer": 37 results

This indicates that both terms may be correct. If in doubt we may be on the safe side to use "Vermögensteuer" in an official context. In all other instances we may want to use the grammatically better "Vermögenssteuer".

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So these online dictionaries should really be updated or something, right? –  indoxica Jul 18 '13 at 11:10
    
Not really. From a linguistic view "Vermögenssteuer" feels much better (genitive case!) but we can't close our eyes to people who invented this tax ;) –  Takkat Jul 18 '13 at 11:26
1  
Wikipedia: die offizielle Benennung von Steuern erfolgt in Deutschland im Gegensatz zu Österreich und der Schweiz ohne Fugen-s. I wouldn't follow this quirk unless writing an official text. –  chirlu Jul 18 '13 at 14:03

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fugenlaut#Verwendung tells us that legal terms usually use the Fugen-s, but the names of taxes don't (except for Austria and Switzerland). So the variant without the Fugen-s is the official one, but the one with is the more common one in everyday speech. Both are correct and have identical meaning.

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Was es nicht alles gibt: Unterschiede in der Amt(s)- und Recht(s)sprache! Sehr schön. –  Takkat Jul 18 '13 at 14:06

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