How to Prepare a Tax Declaration in Germany

A tax declaration is an official statement filed to determine how much taxes a person will have to pay. These documents can be submitted online or in paper form, depending on the person’s circumstances and location. They can be voluntary, but most people submit them to satisfy a tax obligation or because they have already consulted the relevant tax institutions.

In Germany, the most common way to file a tax declaration is through ELSTER, an online tax portal that’s available in German and English. This platform allows users to input all their income sources, including wages and pensions, as well as any additional expenses and deductions that can be claimed. Users can also connect to their bank accounts to automatically import their transactions and bolster their statements with supporting documents.

ELSTER is free for everyone, and it’s easy to set up. To register, an individual will need their personal ID number, as well as their address and job title. Once they’ve registered, they’ll be emailed a code to complete the process. From there, the ELSTER system will begin processing their submissions. The system will then provide a summary of their total tax liability, including any refunds or payments that will be owed.

Aside from ELSTER, there are also several tools and services that can help individuals prepare their tax declarations. For example, there are apps like Taxfix and Steuergo that make the process easier and more organized. In addition, there are income tax help organizations that offer advice for a fee.

People who typically need to file a tax declaration include anyone who receives wage replacement benefits (Lohnersatzleistungen). In addition, people who work freelance or are self-employed must declare their earnings to the local tax office. The information on these statements is used to calculate the appropriate amount of tax deducted from their salary.

For those who are self-employed, a tax declaration is also required to claim deductions such as home office expenses and childcare costs. This helps reduce taxable income, and it’s a good idea to keep track of your expenditures throughout the year to claim all eligible expenses.

Regardless of whether you’re filing your tax declaration online or in paper form, the deadline for submission is July 31. Anyone who needs more time to complete their return can ask their local tax office for an extension.

While the taxation system in Europe can seem complex and intimidating, it’s important to understand the basics of your situation and how it relates to the laws in place. If you have any questions about your particular situation, don’t hesitate to contact the SIP for assistance. Steuererklärung

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