ELSTER: Advantages of Electronic Data Transmission
ELSTER stands for ‘ektronische Steuererklärung’ or “electronic tax return”. The German tax administration introduced ELSTER in 2005 to make tax-related tasks easier for taxpayers and tax offices. Soon, processing tax returns will be a paper-free and electronic process. This spares the environment and, more importantly, your nerves!
Your advantages with ELSTER:
- No working with pen and paper
- Entered data saved easily
- Fewer mistakes when filling out the forms
- Pre-filled tax return (VaSt)
- Electronic submission of tax returns
- Fewer receipts and less paperwork
- Preferred and fast processing at the tax office
- High security through encryption of your data
- ELSTER is completely free
There are two ways to file your electronic tax return. At www.elster.de, you can choose whether you want to submit your tax return online via the ElsterOnline portal (in your browser) or offline with the free ElsterFormular tax software (downloadable).
ElsterOnline or ElsterFormular?
ElsterFormular is free tax filing software that you can download to fill out forms on your computer. Every year there are new tax forms to download.
However, ElsterForm can only be used with computers that use the Windows 7 operating system or higher.
If you use Apple’s Mac OS operating system, you cannot use the software. Instead, you need to file your tax return via the ElsterOnline portal.
You can no longer file the income tax return for 2020 with ElsterFormular.
The ElsterOnline portal offers the option of filling out and submitting all tax forms via the web browser. To do this, you have to register and download a particular file: the ‘certificate’ or ‘Zertifikatsdatei’. This file lets you file your online tax return securely and transparently. Once completed, it takes a second to send it through.
Submit Your Tax Return Online for Free
ElsterOnline and ElsterFormular are free options for filing your tax return online. For a good headstart with ELSTER, the Taxfix blog provides all the tax tips and instructions you need.
We explain how you can file your tax return online with ELSTER. It’s easy and stress-free!
The Taxfix App for Easy Online Tax Returns
If you want a lightning-fast tax filing process that feels effortless even without knowledge of taxes, you have something in common with Taxfix. Taxfix is an ELSTER-certified tax app from Taxfix. Instead of filling out complicated forms, you answer simplified questions that guide you through your personal tax filing process.
Your tax return will be ready in less than half an hour. Tax experts at Taxfix calculate how high your expected tax refund will be. If you so choose, you can send your tax return straight to the tax office through Taxfix. All data is encrypted for maximum security.
It takes bare minutes to have your tax refund estimated by our tax calculator in advance.
If that’s not enough, as a Taxfix user, you also get the advantage of retrieving documents through a ‘pre-filled’ tax return system (VaSt). The tax return through app is therefore even easier and faster. You can find out more about this in the app.