Should I file a voluntary tax return in Germany?
Take the test: Is a voluntary tax return worth your time?
In a couple of clicks, our tax calculator will help you decide if a tax return is worthwhile for you when you’re not a mandatory tax filer. All you need to do is answer a few simple questions.
Optimized for Kurzarbeit and ALG I
Have you faced short-time work (Kurzarbeit) in 2020 or 2021 and are, therefore, obligated to file your taxes? Use Taxfix and file your taxes quick and easy.
What is meant by a mandatory tax filer?
Some employees face a legal obligation to submit the tax return: the assessment obligation (Veranlagungspflicht). The tax office assumes that too little tax has been deducted.
There can be many reasons for such a tax obligation:
- when you have several employers, you’re obligated to file a tax return if your income tax calculation does not account for all your salaries.
- income tax submission is mandatory if both spouses receive wages and one person is in tax class V, VI or IV with a factor.
Income replacement benefits have been more prevalent since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many employees receive or have received short-time work allowance or unemployment benefits (ALGI) after termination of contract. Once you receive an income higher than 410 euros from such benefits (which most people do), you are obligated to file a tax return!
Why should I file a voluntary tax return?
Non-mandatory tax filers can submit voluntarily tax returns. In most cases, a voluntary tax return pays off well. Often those who are not obliged to submit a tax return can expect a tax refund and recover the overpaid taxes from the state.
Cases where filing a voluntary tax return is worth it
Filing a tax return voluntarily can be worthwhile if:
- you high income-related expenses, extraordinary burdens or special expenses.
- you spend on household-related services , craftsmen or household help.
- you have not been in the same employment without interruption.
- you have a variable income.
- your tax class has changed.</li >
The average tax refund you can expect
The Federal Statistical Office has evaluated that of the approximate 13.7 million people in Germany who submitted a tax return in 2016,12 million received a tax refund. On average, the refund was 1.051 Euro.
You can withdraw miscalculated tax returns
You have submitted a voluntary tax return and are expecting a tax refund. But according to the tax assessment, the tax office is demanding an additional payment? No problem. Your voluntary submission gives you a certain period when you can appeal against the tax assessment.
At the same time, submit your application for an assessment according to §46 Para. 2 No. 8 EStG back. Your tax return is then deemed unsubmitted and you do not have to make any additional payments.
File taxes for 4 years retroactively
A big advantage of submitting your voluntary tax return is that you don’t have the usual tax deadlines are bound. You can take your time. You can submit your voluntary tax return retroactively until after 4 years .
Voluntary tax returns are worth it
In most cases, you can expect a tax refund if you file a voluntary tax return. That’s reason enough to try it yourself!
If you’re unsure about filling out tax forms, download the Taxfix app onto your smartphone Download or open it in your browser. It takes a few easy steps to complete your tax return.
With easy-to-understand questions and no difficult tax jargon, the app helps you to complete your tax return in less than 30 minutes and calculates your expected tax result for free, which usually shows up as a refund.