Need Help With Filing Taxes - Did you know that the tax return in Germany has returned an average of 800 to 1,000 euros to the German taxpayer in recent years? As you can see, anyone who doesn't go through with their tax return in Germany is really giving away cash!
But as an international citizen in Germany, your tax return proves to be an obstacle: on the one hand, there is the language barrier; on the other hand, the German tax system is different from what you know. But don't worry, once you master the German tax return, financial happiness quickly melts away the stress.
Need Help With Filing Taxes
We go step by step through the tax return in Germany. With our checklist, you won't miss a single detail, promise!
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Disappointment hits many internationals when they first have a net salary in their hands at the end of the month. After all, your employer automatically deducts income tax from your gross pay and transfers your Social Security contributions directly to the insurance company. So when the IRS receives all the payments, a relatively small net paycheck will arrive in your bank account.
In fact, did you know that Germany is the second highest taxed country in the world, after Belgium? When your first net salary arrives, you will clearly feel that your net salary becomes a lightweight version of your gross salary.
Here's the good news! You can file your tax return at the end of the year and with any luck, you'll get back the money you overpaid!
Actually: more precisely: in 9 out of 10 cases, the taxpayer will receive money after submitting the application! "
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First of all: when do I have to submit a declaration and when is it voluntary in Germany?
It is often a bit confusing for students whether or not you have to file a tax return in Germany. If any of the following points apply to you, you must also submit a declaration as a student:
Therefore, whether you will have to file a tax return as a student in Germany depends on your income situation. Without additional income, you will not have to pay taxes; however, as soon as you earn money above the tax-free allowance while studying, for example as a student assistant, your employer will pay you income tax. And you can get it back at the end of the year!
"During your studies, you can deduct your extraordinary expenses and the cost of work-related deductions from your tax bill. "
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In other words: all expenses related to your education. Have you bought a new laptop for your studies? Great, tax deduction! Even textbooks, photocopies and even "office furniture" are exempt from tax!
Preparation is key! So be sure to add one or two things to your to-do list before filing your tax return in Germany:
13 digits given to you as a taxpayer by the local tax administration. Your tax number is based on where you live and will change as soon as you move and a new IRS takes over. You can find the tax number in the top left corner of every income tax assessment and on the income tax receipt issued by your employer. Account: Your tax number (
2. Double taxation: true or not? All your income, whether domestic or foreign, must be taxed. Conversely, your home country may also require you to pay taxes. Germany has tax treaties with many countries so you don't have to pay double taxes on your income. Be careful not to be chased by two tax authorities!
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3. Get all the forms Every taxpayer has a different tax journey, so there are forms for all of us. By the way, you can deduct many things from your taxes in Germany, whether it's the church tax or your donations. If you have different language barriers, it is worth using a tax consultant, at least the first time.
5. Meet your deadlines Your tax filing deadlines depend on whether you have to file a voluntary or mandatory return.
There's no doubt about it, preparation is essential: before rushing to fill out your tax return in Germany, you need to collect all the relevant forms. Tax filing in Germany is obviously an individual matter, everyone has a different tax background.
Your task now is to find the relevant forms that are necessary for your individual tax return in Germany:
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Don't forget that, after all, you can deduct many professional expenses from your German tax return, as well as church tax or other expenses.
You can even offset the cost of working on your home (even as a renter!) against tax. So if you have a cleaner, gardener or handyman, you can deduct them from your tax bill. Be sure to save all receipts, as the IRS may want to document your expenses.
Have you figured out which forms you need for your tax return in Germany? Then get the relevant forms from your local tax office or citizen's office. Simply visit the home page of your city's tax authority.
With electronic tax filing, it's much easier, and the truth is more "2020". The best option is the free ELSTER tax return software, software that simplifies your tax return and gives you tips for completing it. In ELSTER, you can download the necessary forms or fill them out digitally, print them and send them to the competent tax administration.
How Early Can You File Your Taxes 
In Germany, taxes and tax returns are handled by the individual federal states. This means that your local tax authority is responsible for your tax return. In the Central Office of the Federal Treasury (
Regarding the deadline for submitting the declaration, it is very important that you submit it voluntarily or you are obliged to do so.
Anyone who voluntarily submits a tax return can wait 4 years to fill it out and submit it to the local tax authority. This means for you: you must submit your tax return for 2016 by December 31, 2020. True procrastination bliss!
With the mandatory declaration, you have until July 31 of each year to submit your declaration for the previous year. "
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In fact, you even have until December 31st of each year to file your return for the previous year when the tax advisor takes over for you!
Please contact content@ if you have any suggestions or queries regarding the content of this page.** Our trainers are not tax advisors and we do not provide specific tax advice on this blog. The purpose of this blog post is to provide an overview.
If you had a steady source of income last year, you probably need to file a tax return. Your return is how the government documents and collects the taxes you owe, which pay for all kinds of government services.
Your employer will usually withhold tax from your pay throughout the year, but it may not be enough to cover your tax bill, in which case you'll owe Uncle Sam. Your tax contributions for the year may also have been too high, resulting in a refund.
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But there are many scenarios that make it difficult to file taxes. For example, not everyone works in a paid role. Some people earn income as an independent contractor or receive dividends from investments. In addition, there are many ways to reduce your taxable income, thereby reducing the taxes you owe.
Because of all these nuances, taxes can be daunting. Here's a breakdown of tax filing basics to make sure you're prepared to file your taxes this season.
The tax return is used as documentation on the income, expenses and other relevant tax data of the taxpayer during the calendar year to determine the tax liability of that person. Your tax return calculates whether you owe extra tax, separate from the amount you've already paid for the year, or whether the government owes you a refund.
Federal tax returns are filed annually with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Depending on where you live, you may need to file a state tax return.
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The deadline to file your federal tax return is April 15, unless you request an extension using Form 4868. An extension extends the deadline to file your tax return to October 15, but will not include an extension of the actual tax payment. Instead, you'll need to estimate and pay the taxes you owe by the standard deadline to avoid penalties.
While this doesn't cover all the tax terminology out there, here are some common terms you should be familiar with.
You will need to choose whether you want to file as a single taxpayer, head of household (singles paying at least 50% of the dependents), married filing separately, or married filing jointly. You may also qualify to file as a widow or widower if
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