Tax return 2020: you need to know that

Your 2020 tax return can turn out to be a welcome cash injection for you! In most cases, you should be able to get a tax refund.
We'll tell you how it works.


    Income tax return 2020: Submit voluntarily and benefit

    The deadline for submitting the mandatory tax return (German) 2020 has expired. However, there is still time for voluntary submissions! So take the chance to improve your wallet and give it up voluntarily - Taxfix makes it easier than ever. 

    We explain to you exactly how income-related expenses, special expenses and deductions work and show how the tax system in Germany with wage tax and income tax basically works.


    You have plenty of time to voluntarily submit your report to the tax office. You can submit the annual return up to 4 years after the relevant tax year, for example in the year 2024 the Steuererklärung 2020, Steuererklärung 2021, Steuererklärung 2022, tax return 2022.


    Tax return 2020: As long as the voluntary submission is possible

    The tax deadline for the mandatory tax return 2020 has already expired. 

    The voluntary tax return for 2020 is still possible until December 31, 2024 .  

    Getting started right away will be the best way to remember tax year 2020 expenses and income.

    And that can really pay off. Volunteers often receive a tax refund is higher than expected (German) – on average that is 1,095 euros.

    Reasons can be unknowingly high advertising costs or other deductible expenses that may have been forgotten again. Taxfix helps you to remember this and simply enter it. 

    So why don't you make  several tax returns at once  - and have such a good chance of an attractive refund? 

    Prepare your own tax return


    For anyone who wants to file an easy and secure tax return themselves. Free refund calculation, pay only upon submission.

    Receive an advance calculation of your refund and pay only when you turn it in

    Guided and intuitive process with simple questions

    Automatic data retrieval: simply retrieve your income data from the tax office and have it pre-filled

    The general deadline applies (September 02)

    €59.99 for married couples or registered partnerships looking to file a tax return together

    Get your tax assessment for free and only pay when you submit your return

    Our Expert Service does it for you

    From €69.99

    For those who are unsure or can't find the time – hand your taxes to an expert.

    Provide a few necessary documents in minutes

    An independent tax advisor will prepare and submit your tax return for you

    Personalised document upload: Only submit documents that are completely necessary

    Detailed check of your information

    Benefit from an extended tax deadline (April 30, 2026)

    Only pay when you receive the result of your tax assessment


    Mandatory tax return 2020: until when could you submit it?

    Deadlines and deadlines apply to the submission of your tax returns, which must be observed, otherwise severe penalties (German) can give.

    Mandatory fee for 2020

    Anyone who has to submit a tax return usually has until the end of July of the following year, but due to the special corona circumstances, the deadline for 2020 was pushed back to October 31, 2021.


    If you prepare your tax return with a tax advisor, you have more time to submit it.

    Tax return deadline 2020 with tax consultant: May 31, 2022.

    More information on the (mandatory) fee (German) can be found in our guide article.


    Tax return 2020: tips and tricks for deducting

    Prerequisite for the withdrawal of advertising expenses is that these costs are incurred for the work. They are essential for saving taxes and deducting them is possible if they have not been reimbursed by your employer. 

    Examples of this can be:

    • tools (e.g computer (German), smartphone, desk pads)
    • technical literature
    • expenses for commuting
    • Relocation costs for a job-related change of location
    • Business trips and training
    • Professional insurance (e.g. professional liability insurance) and more

    There are also costs that you incur privately . So maybe you had repairs done on the house that cost up to a certain amount as household services (German) may apply: 

    • cleaning costs
    • renovation costs
    • janitorial services

    Special editions (German) can also make your tax refund 2020 higher. Maybe you had such financial obligations in 2020, which you can now state:

    • Health, pension or life insurance
    • childcare costs
    • church tax
    • Donate

    Even in the event of unexpected and sometimes tragic circumstances in 2020, you may be able to get money back from the tax authorities. Such Exceptional loads (German) are for example:

    • Illness, care and funeral expenses
    • Disabled conversion
    • Reconstruction after natural disasters
    • maintenance services

    Bottom line: It's for you

    Instead of complicated tax terms, Taxfix has easy-to-understand questions, so you understand everything and get more out.

    Start now for free


    What do I need for the 2020 income tax return?

    In order to properly submit your tax returns to the tax office, you need the following documents:

    • Your tax identification number (tax ID)
    • Your employer's income tax statement ( s).
    • Your valid bank details
    • A tax program or alternatively the forms from the tax office
    • Receipts for advertising expenses and special expenses

    When it comes to the tax program, Taxfix is ​​your convenient choice. You don't fill out any forms, but answer simple questions about your tax situation. This is how you get to the calculation of your expected tax refund quickly and free of charge. If you then want to submit your tax return for the Taxfix fee using our tool, you can do so using the official ELSTER interface. As an alternative you can use our expert service available. You have your tax return prepared by an independent tax consultant and sit back and relax.


    What documents do I need for the income tax return 2020

    Receipts are the basis for deducting items and improving the tax result. You use them to claim your expenses for tax purposes. Taxfix helps you to identify the opportunities for withdrawal. Such receipts shall serve as evidence of the expenses: 

    Advertising costs:

    Special editions:

    Exceptional costs:

    Use flat rates and save receipts

    Lump sums allow you to state costs that the tax office usually does not ask for in more detail. Anyone who knows them often saves taxes. In the overview of allowances and lump sums (German)you will find tax options, and maybe ours will help you too 12 legal tax tricks (German)!

    Don't lose track - we'll remind you!

    As experts in taxes, we know the many amounts, exemption limits and current regulations in tax law. Since there are often changes and new packages and the like, it is difficult for many to get an overview. The app knows the current legal situation and helps you to save as much tax as possible. So you no longer need to remember any dates or spend a long time finding out about the 2020 tax year, for example! 

    Taxes & financial freedom

    Taxfix promotes your financial freedom. This is how you benefit: 1. Data retrieval from the tax office for a fast and accurate tax return. 2. No charges until your tax assessment arrives. 3. File your own taxes through an easy and intuitive question-answer flow, or have your taxes done for you with Taxfix Expert Service.

    Juliane, tax expert from Taxfix​


    Tax changes for 2020: what changes will affect me?

    The corona pandemic has changed the year 2020 and will also affect 2021 and 2022. There are also other changes made by the tax authorities that are independent of Covid. So for the 2020 tax return there are some tax changes that you should keep in mind if you want to do your tax return yourself. These are sometimes positive for employees, families and people with lower incomes.

    Here some examples:

    Child benefit and child allowance increase

    The child allowance increased to 2,730 euros for each parent and the care allowance to 1,464 euros. This results in an allowance of 4,194 euros (or 8,388 euros for couples who submit a joint tax return) for 2020. There is also one child bonus (German), which is worth 300 euros in 2020 and 150 euros in 2021.

    You can see the new child benefit amounts in this table:

    The basic allowance was increased in 2020

    The basic allowance (German), so the amount you are allowed to earn without paying income tax on it increased according to the table.

    Tax year

    Basic allowance











    A home office flat rate was introduced

    Since many employees no longer have to use their home office to get to work, the commuter allowance or distance allowance can hardly be used. The home office flat rate was created for this purpose:

    The rule here is that employees who do not have a separate working space (German) still be able to claim costs. For example, if you have to work in the kitchen or living room, you can claim [tv]homeoffice-flat-rate-daeglich[/tv] euros per day. The maximum amount for this is [tv]homeoffice-flat-rate-max[/tv] euros.

    You can find out more about working from home and the commuter flat rate read here (German).

    Even more changes for the tax return 2020

    In this article (German) we will show you all other tax changes that have occurred in 2020.


    How do I do my 2020 tax return online?

    There are several ways you can submit your tax return to the tax office. The official tax program introduced by the German tax administration MAGPIE stands for "Electronic Tax Return". Here, private individuals can use the online portal ElsterOnline to create and edit their tax returns electronically and send them to the tax office. This is done by filling out the digital forms.

    Voluntary tax return for 2020: Which software?

    The declaration comes from the computer to the tax office via tax software. Many people think of programs that are downloaded or installed on the computer. We have the advantages and disadvantages of this as well as examples in our special Tax return software (German) summarized. In addition to installed programs, the software area also includes browser-based tools. These run independently of the operating system on all devices with Internet-enabled browsers and thus, for example, on Linux and other alternative systems. 

    One such browser-based tax software is Taxfix. You use it to complete your electronic report to the tax office from your computer - which many people prefer when it comes to taxes. Maybe you just like to sit down at the desk or kitchen table for a project like the declaration to the tax authorities.

    In addition to the feature of the plausibility check and the intuitive operation via question-answer system, the synchronization with the Taxfix is ​​practical apartment (German). But this is also suitable for your explanation on its own.

    Tax return 2020 via app

    With the Taxfix control app it is at least as easy and convenient, and without any computer software. Unlike at ELSTER, you do not fill out any complicated forms, which usually require a high level of tax knowledge. Instead, you answer easy-to-understand questions that guide you through your personal tax case. It's easy and can be done from anywhere - regardless of whether you want to do your tax on the train or want to make better use of the time on the sofa in the evening than watching bad TV programs. Because submitting your tax return should be fun, intuitive and not frustrating. More on how you Tax via app (German) do, we describe in the corresponding article.

    Good to know

    The "Elsterformular" software only works for tax years up to and including 2019, which is why users have to switch to ELSTER's extensive online service.

    Taxfix advantages for all

    With Germany's most popular mobile tax app, you can do your tax return in no time.

    Guided and intuitive process

    Answer our easy-to-understand questions, or sit back and have your taxes done by an independent tax advisor.

    Reliable check of your data

    We check your data for plausibility through sophisticated plausibility checks.

    Estimated tax refund, free of charge

    If you choose to file your own taxes with Taxfix, we’ll calculate how much you can expect back from the tax office.

    Efficient and secure tax returns

    Only answer what's related to your case. Or have your taxes prepared and submitted by an independent tax advisor.


    Taxfix for the voluntary income tax return

    By the way, the browser-based version of Taxfix does not differ from the app version with regard to your tax evaluation.

    On both platforms you get easy operation, the calculation of your expected tax result and everything you need for a smooth and correct report to the tax office. In addition, browser and app are synchronized at all times. 

    As described, Taxfix works as a mobile app and in the browser. With Taxfix you need less than half an hour on average, receive your expected tax refund and with one click your tax return is securely on the way to the tax office via the ELSTER interface. Sounds easy - it is! That is why it is the most popular mobile tax app in Germany.

    If we've piqued your curiosity, now you can Get a non-binding tax refund estimate from our tax calculator in the browser.

    Do you want to be absolutely on the safe side with your tax return? With our expert service you have your tax return carried out by a state certified tax consultant and save time.

    About Taxfix

    With Taxfix, you can complete your tax returns from 2019-2022, in no time at all. No tax knowledge is necessary – simply choose to complete your Taxfix tax return yourself, or have an independent tax advisor do it for you. What are you waiting for?

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