Tax returns for civil servants: tax tips

As a civil servant, you pay no social security contributions and receive insurance subsidies. But you still pay taxes. This is how you can optimize your tax return.


    Do civil servants have to pay taxes?

    Civil servants also have to pay taxes and can therefore also save taxes.

    There are over 1.7 million civil servants and judges in Germany (as of 2017). As state employees, they work for the federal, state and local governments, e.g. as firefighters* or firewomen*, Teacher *Inside (German), police officers (German), soldiers (German), lecturers, ambassadors and administrative staff.
    There are even civil servants, captains, forest workers and doctors. They all take on public service duties. They are paid according to certain tariffs and, unlike other employees, are subject to the exemption from insurance.


    Civil servants do not pay social security contributions

    As an employee at a company, you see in yours Income tax certificate (German) many social security contributions, such as pension insurance, unemployment insurance or health and long-term care insurance. With an annual gross salary of 40,000 euros, that is often 8,000 euros and more. As a civil servant, you are exempt from these expenses and of course have more of your gross salary. However, you must also insure yourself.


    Health insurance tax credit

    Regardless of whether you, as a civil servant, opt for statutory or private insurance, you can deduct the contributions and medical expenses from your taxes, provided that it is basic security. Extra services such as a single bedroom in the hospital or treatment by the chief physician are not included, but you can often use these optional services as an extraordinary burden (German) claim in your tax return.


    Most civil servants go into private health insurance because the benefits are better in many insurance packages and the state as an employer only pays a subsidy of 50-80% to privately insured civil servants. This subsidy means that private insurance for civil servants is often significantly cheaper than statutory insurance with better benefits.

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    Work-related expenses for civil servants

    However, civil servants can not only deduct their health insurance, but also theirs like all other taxpayers 

    advertising expenses (German) and your special editions (German) assert.

    Here are some examples:


    If you to are required to file a tax return (German), then as a civil servant you usually have until 31.07. time for the following year. If a tax consultant or the income tax assistance association can help you with this, the submission deadline is usually much later.

    However, the federal government has adjusted many deadlines due to the corona pandemic. All information and current deadlines (German) you can find in our post.


    Tax return for pensioners

    Civil servants receive a pension that is calculated from the years of service and the last salary bracket. The longer you have worked as a civil servant, the higher this percentage increases. A retired civil servant can earn up to 71.75 percent of the last salary. Pension benefits are also supplemented by pension payments, for which there is a pension allowance. This depends on your retirement year. You can find out which allowance you are entitled to in the table for Income Tax Act §19 (German).

    Tax return for civil servants at a glance

    Yes! Civil servants also have to pay taxes. These are the same as for employees. The main difference to normal employed persons lies in the social security contributions. Civil servants are free to choose their insurance and their private insurance is subsidized by the state. This usually reduces the charges.

    Yes, civil servants pay wage tax. It can be found on the pay slip with the same percentages as for comparable employees.

    Civil servants do not pay social security contributions, but other taxes do. This includes income tax, which accounts for the largest share. Church tax and the solidarity surcharge may also apply.

    Civil servants pay the same relative proportions of wage tax from their salary as employees. There is also no difference in church tax and solidarity surcharge. Due to the social security contributions, which do not have to be paid, i.e. health insurance, pension insurance, etc., more of the gross remains at the end of the month.

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