Symbolbild: Hand mit Kalender, der den 31. Juli als die Steuererklärung-Frist für die Abgabe zeigt

Tax return submission deadlines

In 2023, you can improve your finances by filing a retroactive tax return for 2019. However, if you have to file your 2022 tax return, you don’t have as much time.

It’s good to be aware of tax deadlines, but there’s no need to panic about filing taxes! Filing an income tax return is simple and worth the effort. After all, it helps you get back the money from overpaid taxes—even if you’re not mandated to file a tax return.

Symbolbild: Hand mit Kalender, der den 31. Juli als die Steuererklärung-Frist für die Abgabe zeigt

When’s the last day to submit your financial statement to the tax office? That depends on whether you are obligated to submit it or are submitting it voluntarily — and, also if you have a tax advisor. In this article, you  find all the important dates and deadlines at a glance.

Deadline for 2022 tax returns: October 2nd, 2023 for mandatory filers

In general, if you are obligated to file a tax return for a certain year, it must be submitted to the tax office by July 31 of the following year.

The following submission dates apply to mandatory tax filers:


If the 31st day of the month falls on a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday, the following working day shall be considered as the tax submission deadline.

Frau, die mit dem Rücken zur Kamera steht, sich zum Betrachter umdreht und dabei von der Sonne angestrahlt wird

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Obligated to file taxes?

Are you mandated to file a tax return? If any of the items on the mandatory filing checklist apply, then yes:

Tax return: Mandatory or not? Find out whether you have to file or can do it deliberately – with this info graphic

You can find out more about the individual points in the article: „Who’s obligated to file tax returns?

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Extended submission deadline when you hire tax advisors

If you have a tax advisor or an income tax help association prepare your tax return, you have more time to submit taxes — usually until the last day in February of the year after next. This tax year was an exception because of Corona and, thus, had a new date.


Here is an overview of all tax filing deadlines when you’re filing with a tax association or advisor:

Voluntary tax return: Deadlines of up to 4 years

The above deadlines apply specifically to persons who are obligated to file a tax return. All other employees can file voluntary tax returns. You have four years to file your retroactive tax returns when you are a voluntary filer.

Watch out, myth!

Filing taxes does not become a mandatory act once you have submitted your tax return voluntarily.

Taxfix tax tip:

Usually, it’s worthwhile to file a voluntary tax return, especially , if your income-related expenses (Werbungskosten) exceed euros. This 1,200-euro mark is easily exceeded with a daily one-way commute of 15 km. And apart from the commute, you may still have other other income-related expenses.

Find out whether filing a tax return is worthwhile for you

Answer a few questions and our tax calculator will tell you whether a tax return is worthwhile for you and how high your estimated tax refund will be:

Missed your tax deadline? Don't panic!

If you missed the tax deadline, the first thing to do is: stay calm. As a rule, the tax office doesn’t really bother if your tax return arrives a few days later. However, you should not postpone taxes further, because delayed tax returns are charged late-tax penalties (Verspätungszuschläge).

If you know in advance that you will not be able to file your tax return by the 2022 deadline, for example, you should apply for an extension from the tax office. Even if the latest possible deadline has passed, this extension can save you from penalties.


How to apply for an extension of the deadline:

You can apply for a deadline extension quite easily with an informal letter. State the reasons for the delay (for example, missing documents or illness) as well as a new favourable date of your choice (no later than 30 September) for the submission. Send the letter by post or fax to your local tax office. Make sure you quote your tax identification number. The extension is usually granted if you do not hear any opposition from the tax office to your request.

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What happens if I do not file a tax return?

If the tax office does not have either the income tax return or an application for an extension of the deadline, it often asks taxpayers to submit the tax return. The date stated in this letter should be considered as the new tax deadline. Delaying taxes beyond this date will attract late-tax penalties.

How much is the late-tax penalty (Verspätungszuschlag)?

For each month or part thereof of delay, the tax office charges 0.25% of your assessed tax, or a minimum value of 25 euros.

If you do not receive a request, you should still contact the tax office as soon as possible. This is because 14 months after the end of the tax year, the tax office’s discretionary powers end and you cannot avoid paying the penalties.


Tax return 2018 submitted on: 15.05.2020
Submission deadline ended on: 31.07.2019.
The 14-month deadline ended on: 28.02.2020
Late filing surcharge will necessarily be assessed for the months August 2019 to May 2020



If you do not submit your documents despite being a mandatory taxpayer, the tax office can demand your tax return within seven years. If you are missing documents, the tax office will estimate your tax return, likely to your disadvantage.

About Taxfix

Über Taxfix

Das Fintech Taxfix wurde 2016 von Lino Teuteberg und Mathis Büchi gegründet. Taxfix ist die einfache App, die jedes Jahr Hunderttausenden Menschen hilft, ihre Steuererklärung schnell, fehlerfrei und stressfrei einzureichen. Mit einem Team von Steuerexpert*innen, Rechtsanwält*innen und Entwickler*innen, vereinfacht die App das leidige Thema Steuern. Das Ziel: Steuererklärungen und die damit verbundenen Rückerstattungen für alle zugänglich zu machen.