Tax Return 2022-2023: The Complete Guide

All information on filing taxes in 2022 for 2023: Deadlines, programmes and apps, tax liabilities, and new developments in the tax world.

What should I keep in mind when filing taxes for 2021?

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many employees had to switch to short-time work (Kurzarbeit). If you were or are also on short-time work in 2021 and will receive more than 410 euros in wage replacement benefits (Kurzarbeitgeld) for the entire year, you are obligated to file a tax return. 

Haven't yet filed your 2018 tax return? You still have until the end of 2022 to file them, if you are obligated to do so. By the way: In most cases, it's worthwhile to file a voluntary return!

If you for several employers at the same time, you’re obligated to file taxes. If you’re married and have a certain tax class combination of tax classes with your spouse, you may also be obligated to pay tax. To know if you are a mandatory tax filer, we recommend you read this article.

If none of the scenarios listed there applies to you, you may be a voluntary tax filer. When you file a voluntary tax return, you can improve your finances and save money — just the right thing to do in a pandemic.

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What do I need for the 2022 tax return and what is tax-deductible?

Um deine Steuererklärungen ordnungsgemäß beim Finanzamt einzureichen, benötigst du folgende Unterlagen:

  • You 11-digit tax identification number ( Steueridentifikationsnummer or Steuer-ID)
  • Annual payslip from your employer(s)
  • Your valid bank details
  • Receipts for income-related expenses (Werbungskosten) and special expenses (Sonderausgaben)

We recommend keeping important documents and papers in a safe place and neatly sorted. These could be very important later. Some expenses for which you have receipts can be claimed against tax and you can thus reclaim part of the taxes you have paid. Examples are professional expenses for your daily work or a move (income-related expenses) and other financial burdens. Read the following articles to learn more about each topic:

This is how it works

Steuererklärung-App von Taxfix

What to keep in mind when filing 2021 taxes?

The COVID-19 pandemic will continue to bring many changes in 2021. That’s why there are some tax changes you should keep an eye on (apart from the deadline for filing mentioned above). For example, these turn out to be quite positive for employees, families, and low-income earners.

Here are a few examples:

Increased child benefit (Kindergeld) and child allowance (Kinderfreibetrag)

The child allowance has 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 filing a joint tax return).

You can see which new amounts apply to child benefits in this table:benefit

The basic tax-free allowance (Grundfreibetrag) has increased

The basic tax-free allowance (Grundfreibetrag) on which you don’t have to pay income tax – has increased this year.

Increase in the home-office allowance

Home office implies that you’re working from home and not commuting to the office. Hence, you cannot claim the commuter allowance (Entfernungspauschale or Pendlerpauschale) cannot be used. However, since the home office entails financial burden, there is the home office allowance.

Thanks to this allowance, people who do not have a separate workspace or study can still deduct costs. In the case of a non-dedicated workplace in one’s own home, 5 euros per day can be claimed for a maximum of 120 days per year. You can read more about home office and the commuter allowance here.

Further changes in tax law

This article highlights all the changes in tax law that apply in 2021.

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

Your tax-return in less than half an hour

Designed with the help of tax experts, the Taxfix app empowers you to reclaim overpaid taxes each year. Simple, fast, secure, ELSTER-certified.

How do I file my 2021 tax return?

There are several ways you can submit your tax return to the tax office. The official software ELSTER introduced by the German tax administration and stands for ‘Electronic Tax Return’. Here, private users can create, edit and submit their tax return to the tax office through digital forms available on the online portal ELSTERonline. This is done by filling out the digital forms.

Good to know: The 'Elsterformular' software can only be used for tax years until 2019. If you've previously used Elsterformular, you'll need to switch either to "My Elster" or to other programmes such as Taxfix for subsequent years.

Spare your nerves from the inconvenience of filing taxes through ELSTER. You can do your 2021 taxes more conveniently and easily, without any tax knowledge or software, with the Taxfix app. Unlike ELSTER, you don’t have to fill out complicated forms that usually require a high level of tax knowledge. You answer easy-to-understand questions that guide you through your personal tax case, because filing your tax return should be pleasant and not frustrating.

Die Taxfix-App mit dem bewährten und intuitiven Prozess zur Steuererklärung 2021

With Taxfix, you need less than half an hour to fill out your tax return. We then calculate your expected tax refund or tax arrear, and once you’re ready, it takes one click for your tax return to go straight to the the tax office. Sounds easy? It is!

The advantages of filing taxes with Taxfix

If we have picked your interest, give Taxfix a try. You can have your tax refund estimated in advance by our tax calculator in your browser without any obligation or charges.

Die Taxfix-Gründer Mathis Büchi und Lino Teuteberg sitzend in einem hellen Raum mit Fenster im Hintergrund

About Taxfix

Lino Teuteberg and Mathis Büchi founded the fintech startup Taxfix in 2016. Taxfix helps hundreds of thousands of people file their annual tax returns quickly, correctly, and without stress. Experienced tax experts, lawyers, and developers collaborate at Taxfix to demystify taxes and create an intuitive tax-filing app. The goal: simplify tax returns to make refunds accessible to all taxpayers.