If you’re living in Germany, there are a few things you need to know about the taxes and tax declarations that are needed.
1. Die Steuerklarung (tax declaration)
You will need to make a tax declaration every year if you live in Germany for more than six months. You can either do this yourself or get it done for you by a qualified person.
2. Using software to calculate your tax deductions
If you want to use an automated system to calculate your tax deductions, you can choose a free service or a paid one. However, it is important to understand the limitations of these programs.
3. Making a taxable income in Germany
All Germans must pay taxes on their earnings. This is known as ‘wage tax’ and can be very different from what you’re used to.
4. There are different ‘tax categories’ for your earnings
In Germany, each citizen is entitled to a basic tax allowance, which means that their taxable income is reduced accordingly.
5. There are a few ways to reduce your tax bill
If you work part time, or if you have an irregular working pattern, you may need to pay less in income tax.
6. There are a few rules to follow
If your earnings are irregular, it is best to make an annual tax declaration (Steuererklarung). This will help the Finanzamt decide whether you need to pay more or less in income tax.
7. You can use a Lohnsteuerhilfeverein or a Steuerberater to help you with your tax situation
If you have an irregular working pattern, it is best to hire the services of a Lohnsteuerhilfeverein, which will be able to advise you on your personal circumstances.
8. There are a few rules to follow
The most important rule is that you can only use a Lohnsteuerhilfeverein to assist you with your tax return.
9. The Lohnsteuerhilfevereins are not liable for any claims made against them by you or your relatives if you have not acted in accordance with the rules of the association.
10. You can ask for a refund of your taxes, if you have received a refund in the past.
11. You can ask for a refund if you have not paid your taxes on time or if they are incorrectly calculated.
14. You can also ask for a refund if you have overpaid your tax in previous years.
15. You can also ask for a refund based on your ‘income’, which is the amount you earn each year.
16. You can ask for a refund if your tax bill is too large or you have paid it incorrectly.
17. You can also ask for a refund unless the tax office has notified you that they do not agree with your calculation.
18. If you are not sure if the information you have is correct, you can also ask for an official explanation of your taxable income from the Finanzamt.
A statutory explanation will be sent to you by post, but it is also possible to request an electronic copy of your tax file online. This will save you the hassle of having to write and send your tax file back to the Finanzamt, and you can avoid paying extra. Steuererklärung