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Corona, Kurzarbeit & Tax 2020 – Everything you, your friends and family need to know now

"For real, can I reimburse the costs of setting up my home office? Is it true I have to file my tax return as a Kurzarbeiter? Can I actually get a tax refund from the Finanzamt or pay increased taxes?" We hear you. And we want you to have the right answers to Kurzarbeit, home-office & co. Between you and I, we have also compiled some whip-smart tax tricks that generate additional savings. Sharing is caring. And who’s to say, how much caring we need after 2020? So, share our blogpost with everyone you love. It’s designed for you to save taxes and make the most out of your finances.
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Who are our tips for?

  • Everyone who needs to do a tax return.
  • Everyone who received ‘Kurzarbeitgeld’ in 2020.
  • Everyone who faced unemployment in 2020 due to Corona.
  • Colleagues, friends and family of those who were on Kurzarbeitgeld or faced unemployment in 2020.
  • HR executives & managers of companies who adopted Kurzarbeit in 2020 or had Corona-related lay-offs


Do I have to file a tax return if I was on Kurzarbeit in 2020?
Yes. To make life easier, let Taxfix file your 2020 taxes.

Do I have to file a tax return if I was unemployed in 2020?
Yes, unless you fall in one of the following categories:

  1. You had been unemployed long-term
  2. You did not claim ALG 1

However, if you registered as unemployed in 2020 and received ALG 1, Taxfix can file your 2020 tax-returns.

Do I always have to do a tax return from now on if I’m doing one for the first time this year?
No. Let’s bust that myth.

Is there any way I can reimburse my days spent at home-office days through taxes?
Most likely, you can. Find out if you qualify.

Can I still claim commuter-allowance even if I worked mostly from home?
There’s a possibility you can. Read this to find out.

Are there advantages for families?
Yes! You can find out more here (only available in German).

Is it true that I may have higher tax-returns in 2020?
There’s no straight answer. It needs some calculating. Find out now.

Can Taxfix recommend any smart-tricks to get maximum returns on my 2020 tax-declaration despite Corona?
Yes. The tax-experts at Taxfix have no greater joy than to make the topic of taxes as transparent and simple as possible. Now, let’s get to it…

1. Indicate general lump-sums you can save with.

  • Work equipment: 110 €, even if you haven’t spent anything.
  • Application costs: 2,50 € per e-mail and 8,50 € per folder
  • Telephone and Internet: 20% of the costs limited to 20 €, if you also use it professionally
  • Home office: 5 € per day, for a maximum of 120 days. So, no more than 600 €
  • Laundry charges for work clothes: Probably bare cents. But, in theory, you can deduct your laundry costs from your taxes.
  • Advertising expenses: Even if your costs were not particularly high, the tax office always considers a lump-sum of 1,000 €

2. Download a tax app instead of using ELSTER or paying a tax consultant!

Tax apps like Taxfix, provide a step-by-step guide to tax-returns. Their questions address many of these lump-sums to get the maximum returns from your tax-declaration. Unlike ELSTER, you’ll get additional tips to get additional taxes refunds. To top it all, they only cost a fraction of what a tax accountant would charge. The app is available in English, which is god-sent for expats working in Germany.

Jana Teuber
by Jana Teuber
published on: 18.08.2022
updated on: 12.12.2022

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.

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About Taxfix

With Taxfix you can do your tax return quickly and paperless from anywhere – both via the app on your smartphone and online in the browser. You provide information about your tax situation according to the question-and-answer principle and have your possible refund calculated. Your data will then be securely transmitted via the ELSTER interface.