I have come across this use of beteiligen:

Auch Mieter können den Fiskus an den auf sie über die Nebenkostenabrechnung umgelegten Kosten für Schornsteinfegerleistungen beteiligen. Ebenfalls berücksichtigungsfähig sind auch Aufwendungen für Hausreinigung oder den Winterdienst (als haushaltsnahe Dienstleistungen).

I don't understand the role of den Fiskus in the first sentence, as it seems to suggest that tenant is sharing something with the Fiskus. The whole article is about how homeowners and tenants can now deduct costs of chimney sweep services as a tax-deductible item on their tax forms, and pay less tax. The tenant in question is not sharing anything with the tax office (Fiskus). If anything, it's the tax office that's letting people keep some of their own money out of the natural goodness of its heart.

  • It is because German works the other way round than English. Tenants ("Nominativ") can use the tax office ("Akkusativ") to share in their tax duty by deducting what the landlord has rolled off onto them. German is (sometimes) nice for short and precise wording :-) And allways seek the service of a tax consultant rolleyes
    – user41853
    Commented Jul 26, 2020 at 12:32

2 Answers 2


The tenant in question is not sharing anything with the tax office (Fiskus).

That's not the whole story:
Of course the tenant must pay income tax to the tax office. But they can reduce the amount of this tax, regarding to what they already payed their hirer with the billing of incidentals. So they directly engage (beteiligen) the tax office (den Fiskus).

  • 1
    I would rather say that the tax office is indirectly engaged, due to a lower tax paid by the renter.
    – RHa
    Commented Jul 26, 2020 at 8:37
  • @RHa But paying a lower tax directly involves the tax office, because the renter (tenant) needs to list that at their tax declaration. Commented Jul 26, 2020 at 18:08

It's similar to the expression "sharing the costs" in English.

"Den Fiskus an den Kosten beteiligen" means that you have the tax office effectively take over part of the cost, which works by you having to pay less income tax.

A possible translation would be "Tenants can engage the tax office in the costs of ....".

If you can pay for something by deducting part of it from what you would normally own the tax office, that's effectively the same as engaging the tax office in your costs. However, that might be my particularly German view.

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