Taxes are a big part of life in Germany. Whether you are a freelancer, working for yourself or in your family business, it’s important to know what taxes you’re paying.
The best way to prepare for your tax declaration is to do your research ahead of time. This will ensure you don’t miss anything important.
One of the simplest ways to do this is to download the official tool (ELSTER, for short) which will allow you to file your German tax return in a digital manner. Once registered, a password will be sent to you by post so be sure to keep that in mind!
Besides the ELSTER there are many other useful tools available to assist you with your tax filing. For example, you can use the official ‘tax wizard’ to determine which income tax deductions are applicable to your situation.
In addition, there are a number of calculators and online services that can provide you with all the information you need to prepare your tax returns on a timely basis. In particular, there are several websites that provide a comprehensive guide to Germany’s tax rules.
A tax declaration is a must for all German residents. You can either submit your tax declaration on your own or hire a professional to do the job for you.
As of 2019, the deadline for filing your tax return in the electronic form is 31 July if you are a resident of Germany or September if you are not. If you have not filed your tax return by this date, the Finanzamt will assess your taxes and send you a ‘Steuerschein’ with your final assessment.
The ‘big ka-ching’ was not the largest of the e-papers, but it was the most useful and the most impressive to see. There is also a website called ‘tax wizard’ which will tell you which income tax deductions are applicable to your circumstances and which ones you should avoid at all costs. Steuererklärung