Payment of money does not exclude voluntary work

BSG: Administrative tasks can also count as volunteers
In general, no social security contributions have to be paid on flat-rate allowances for voluntary work. Even if not only representation, but also administrative tasks are associated with volunteering, there is no obligation to contribute, judged on Wednesday, August 16, 2017, the Federal Social Court (BSG) in Kassel (ref .: B 12 KR 14/16 R ).

With this, the Nordfriesland-Süd district craftsmen got right from the top social judges. The district craft union is a union of craft guilds in one district. As a corporation under public law, it represents the interests of independent crafts. As with chambers of industry and commerce, information is given to authorities and politicians, statements are given and the interests of the members are represented in disputes with suppliers and customers.

In the determined case, the current business was carried out by an employed managing director. However, the district craftsmanship is led by an elected, voluntary district craftsman, here an independent electrician. For his work, he received an annual allowance of 6,600 euros. In addition to representing the district artisans, his duties also included administrative work such as inviting members to committee meetings, checking the post and agreeing with the office.

During an audit, the German Federal Pension Insurance determined that social insurance contributions would have to be paid on the flat-rate allowance. Volunteer work is actually free of charge, but not if administrative tasks are performed in addition to representation. The administrative tasks fell into the area of ​​gainful employment.

For the years 2006 to 2010, the district artisans would have to pay around 2,600 euros in contributions. The pension insurance also referred to an earlier judgment of the BSG, according to which "tasks accessible to working life" are subject to contributions.

With its new ruling, the BSG moved away from this and no longer focused on the type but on the voluntary context of the activity.

Here, the pension insurance did not take sufficient account of the ideal, non-profit purpose of volunteering, according to the BSG. It is irrelevant that the district master craftsman also performs administrative tasks as long as they are directly connected to the volunteer position. Here these tasks corresponded to the purpose of the statute.

Flat-rate allowances for volunteering are generally free of charge. Such a financial contribution does not preclude voluntary work, according to the 12th BSG Senate. However, the flat-rate allowance should not be designed in such a way that it actually represents a hidden remuneration.

It is characteristic of a voluntary activity that it does not aim to achieve a material profit. The volunteer district craftsman did not exercise his office with "intentions to work". He was also not bound by instructions, as in an employment relationship. There is therefore no obligation to pay contributions. fle / mwo

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