Get your
taxes back!

  • 70 questions
  • 22 minutes
  • an average of 1,051 Euro refund

What's the deadline for filing my tax return?

12. October 2021

Many people have never considered filing their taxes. It used to be messy and complicated – and if you're a regular employee, you might not even need to file. Since not all taxpayers are legally obligated to file an annual tax return, there can be confusion when it comes to the deadline: It’s not the same for all taxpayers! Our overview of the different regulations will help you file on time regardless.

Mandatory tax returns

Taxpayers who have to submit a mandatory tax return are required to file their tax declaration within half a year – usually by the end of July except for 2020 when the deadline ends on 31st of October 2021. This includes people with income from self-employment or freelance work; those with international income, capital gains from investments or other complicated tax cases as well as some employees who receive additional income, wage-replacement benefits or got assigned certain tax brackets.

For all mandatory filers, the deadline is the 31st of October of the following year:

Tax year 201631st of July 2017
Tax year 201731st of July 2018
Tax year 201831st of July 2019
Tax year 201931st of July 2020
Tax year 202031st of October 2021

Voluntary tax returns

If you’re a regular employee, you may take for granted that your taxes are already taken out of your paycheck every month. In this case, tax filing isn’t mandatory for you. But many people don’t know that there are lots of standard deductions that you can use to claim back much of the tax that you payed throughout the tax year.

So – if a filing isn’t mandatory but you are interested in taking advantage of possible returns, the good news is that you could actually take it slow. Your voluntary tax returns can be filed retroactively for up to four years.

For people with non-mandatory filing deadlines, this results in the following deadlines:

Tax year 201931st of December 2023
Tax year 202031st of December 2024

But that’s no reason to hesitate: Voluntary tax returns are actually likely to pay off and result in a tax refund – on average, taxpayers in Germany can reclaim 1,051 Euros!

Under the following circumstances, it can be especially profitable to hand in your tax declaration by choice:

  • You had high income-related expenses, special expenses or other exceptional costs
  • You had high household-related expenses (e.g. costs for renovations or household help)
  • You changed employers, tax classes or had varying income throughout the year

Tax advisor or do-it-yourself?

Admittedly, hiring a tax advisor provides an undeniable perk: it extends your mandatory filing deadline by half a year.

However, this additional time comes at a cost since you’ll need to pay an advisor a fee to do your taxes. The average tax advisor ranges between 200 and 650 euros per tax filing.

Alternatively, you can calculate your refund completely risk-free in just 22 minutes right now. Our app automatically assesses your tax situation, gets you the maximum refund – and that only costs you €39.99.

Can’t make the deadline? Don’t panic!

If you’ve missed your deadline by a few days: don’t panic. Most tax offices understand if you miss the deadline by only a couple of days.

However, if it becomes clear in advance that you won’t be able to make the deadline – for example in cases of prolonged illness or because you are still lacking some important documents – you can apply for an extension. You can do this by writing a letter or E-Mail to the responsible tax office, outlining the reasons for the delayed filing.

If the tax office does not receive your tax declaration or an application for an extension, they will normally send you a notification requesting that you file within a certain time period.

You should not miss the deadline mentioned in this request. If you do, you may face a penalty fee for late filing.

Claim your refund

Timing is everything – especially when it comes to your finances! We hope you found all the necessary information to plan your annual tax return and claim your refund totally hassle-free.