The dilemma of the data-driven mindset
Currently, the world is watching as a global chain reaction unfolds. Many people are relying on a regular daily diet of statistics and figures in trying to understand what is happening to our lives and to the world around us.
Our work tries to take the complication out of tax filing – encouraging people to start facing finance with more ease. And because of the profession we chose, we are naturally very data-driven people. But this poses two key problems:
1) Statistics quickly lose their weight once things hit closer to home. For instance, if your co-worker, neighbor, a close friend or even family member is affected, numbers only count for so much.
2) The current situation is completely new to our society as a whole, so all of us have to wait, adapt and contribute our part while at least parts of the world are on lockdown. As we watch things unfold daily, we must simply try to understand all new developments in real time, and each of us must do our best to take responsible actions in order to contribute to the collective good.
In trying to gain context, many people feel overwhelmed by the overflow of articles and statistics from vastly different sources that are coming through. So instead of speaking only about this emerging situation, we think it’s important to talk about facing finance and thinking about our economic lives in the long run.
Many things are halting worldwide in response to recent events and as a countermeasure. But it’s also an important time to focus on what’s still working.
The tax system: A pillar of modern society
One factor that’s contributing to a particularly challenging current world climate is that we’re facing an issue that is strongly entwined with both the social and economical aspects of our lives. In particular, we were witnessing many businesses close their doors and people lose work for a potentially indefinite amount of time, while public services and the healthcare systems are coming more and more into focus. This makes it even more apparent how the economy facilitates our well-being as a society. So, especially in the face of an impending economic crisis, it is important not to lose faith in it.
We acknowledge that these are challenging times and want to offer some reassurance. So let’s talk about what we know best: taxes. The German tax system has been in place since the 1920s and has contributed a lot to the nation that we are today. While the logic behind it may be guided by sheer economical motives at the first glance, its implementation has always been driven by the greater good: Money that the state makes from various taxes like income tax, sales tax or commercial tax is eventually reinvested into our healthcare, social security, education or public infrastructure. In other words, the money theoretically flows back into our streets, schools and hospitals to create a stronger community.
In these uncertain times, it is important to know that the world cannot – and will not – stop spinning. Though probably slowing down, we are steadily moving forward.
The coming weeks will no doubt pose many questions of solidarity – like what happens with regards to the compensation of lost rents and wages during lockdown periods? Yet it’s important to say that all those who are able to keep working during these challenging times are already continuing to generate part of the money needed for necessary public measures. And by moving forward in all the ways that we can, we are already contributing a part to keep the world running.
A two-way street: what the tax economy can do for you
The tax system aims to work both for the economy and benefit the greater good.
In particular, if you are affected by the current economic state, or have lost work, your tax declaration may be a way of getting some money back in the form of a tax refund. The German tax system also uniquely allows you to file your taxes retroactively. This means that if you didn’t have to file a mandatory tax return previously, you can now calculate your refund for up to four years – as far back as the tax year 2016! So depending on your work history, there could be unclaimed money waiting for you.
Keeping on moving forward
Financial advice aside, our main concern is global well-being. In these unprecedented times, our hearts go out to everyone who is personally affected by the current situation.
At Taxfix, we are committed to contributing our part – mostly by working from home until the situation calms down on a global scale. We have also made all the necessary arrangements to enable the uninterrupted continuation of our work, maintain the same high quality standards and continually provide our service so we can support our users in facing finance with as much peace of mind as possible during this unprecedented period.
We will continue to update our users regularly about all further developments, both legal and logistical, concerning finances and tax filing in Germany.
As an international company spanning four EU countries as well as a proud member of the European Regional Development Fund, we aim to assist our colleagues, friends and customers around the globe – confident that by holding together, even at a (safe) distance, we can stay on course throughout these uniquely challenging times.