ELSTER - the online tax returns system

55 posts in this topic

Posted

I'm just a lowly commuting employee and hopefully filled out my 2005 tax return correctly.

I used ElsterFormular Software to submit my 2005 tax return online. First attempt was in October sent electronically but without authentication. So I registered with ElsterOnline and got a digital certificate which I used last night to resubmit my tax return.

So how do I know they got it? If everything worked ok? On my ElsterOnline account there is no mention of forms received or any type of status. My client software just says it's submitted.

Does anyone have any experience of this?

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Posted

I got one half of my answer today. I got reminder in the post today from the finazamt that they haven't received any declaration up to Dec 7th.

Guess, maybe I should just bring out my forms and make the trek down to the finazamt and find out myself

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Posted

Good luck!

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Posted

Hi,

I have downloaded the software from www.elster.de. I used step-by-step (F5) way to fill up the form.

But I am now facing the following problems.

1. How do we know how much is the refund ?

2. Where to enter the foreign income and tax paid on that ?

3. Where to enter parents support expenses?

Thanks in anticipation.

Surendra

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Posted

Yeah. I figured it out. There is a menu option in Elster to give you the result of the last communication with the server. Told me it was successfully sent on 19/12/06. I only found this morning as I was preparing to go into the finanzamt and printed everything up I could.

Went down to the tax office today. Told me that they did receive it and the decision is in the post since yesterday. Please let it be good news. Found out also what Elster thinks I should get back. Hope that figure is true and I don't owe them money.

Should be ready for 2006 and hopefully won't be as painful as 2005.

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Posted

Found out also what Elster thinks I should get back. Hope that figure is true and I don't owe them money.

which elster menu gives the details of money refund ?

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Posted

From the Menu "Extras" - "Steuerberechung"

It checks something, does some calculation and then you get a two page view that you printout.

The tax refund decision or Bescheid was waiting for me when I got home. Elster wasn't out by too much. Just have to figure out how the Finanzamt arrived at that figure and why the difference. But I'm a happy customer.

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Posted

Thanks linmor. It was really helpful.

Do you also know where to enter the expenses for supporting parents ?

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Posted

No I don't. I had a tough time figuring out where to put the commuting expenses as it wasn't in the default form.

There are other forms you can add in. Maybe it's in one of those.

There was book I used as reference and detective work of figuring. I'll check the name of it when I'm home. It's in German though.

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Posted

Hi,

I got answers to my few questions:

1. "Anlage AUS" is the form for foreign income declaration

2. "Anlage unterhalt" is for parental support.

3. "Anlage N" is for salary income in Germany

Still I have some questions.

1. What is my steuernummber ?

2. Which Finanz office should I go to submit the supporting documents? Can I go to any office or it is also decided by the Salary income proof given by employer ?

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Posted

Your steuernummer is: 53445345334

Do you have Lohnsteurerkarte? The number should be on that.

Also look at your payslip.

I have no idea about Munich Finanzamt. In FFM your surname determines which Finanzamt you go to.

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Posted

Ok, I just managed to do my taxes for 2005 and 2006 (I know, I know) using Elster and transmitted the data but I couldn't figure out what this authentification/certificate business is all about. I thought I could just print the thing out to send at a later date because I had to go out and buy a new ink cartridge...now I don't even know if this is possible? When I go to the print preview page it says "Dieser Ausdruck ist nicht fuer das Finanzamt bestimmt!!!" I tried reading the FAQs on the Elster site but my German is not that great. Apparently I was supposed to save a copy of the file before I transmitted the data if I wasn't prepared to print it? Well, I did not because it is all here plain as day in the Elster formular thing (which tells me it is not meant for the Finanzamt :blink: )! So now what?

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Posted

Hi,

Regarding Anlage Unterhalt.

Can someone translate this for me please?

"Unterhaltszahlungen erfolgten im Rahmen von Familienheimfahrten, bitte Abhebeungsnachweise der Bank und detailierte Emfängerbestätigung der understützten Person beifügen."

Also, is it possible to go into Elster and fill in half the info, and then continue another day?

Thanks.

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Posted

Can someone translate this for me please?

"Unterhaltszahlungen erfolgten im Rahmen von Familienheimfahrten, bitte Abhebeungsnachweise der Bank und detailierte Emfängerbestätigung der understützten Person beifügen."

The text above declares that the (following?) support payments have been done, while visiting your family in your homecountry. And you are expected to enclose the affirmation for your bank withdrawal and a detailed notice of receipt by the supported family member.

My try to explain (you could read it here in german: http://www.finanz-rundschau.de/media/S_2285_506.pdf) :

If you have to pay for the support of family members, this reduces your taxable income. (good thing)

Normally the obligations for documents to prove (tax relevant) support payments to family abroad are very strict. But to a certain extent (ask your tax consultant) you can claim to have taken money with you, when you visit your spouse in your homecountry (assuming he still lives there). But you have to prove that you really travelled there.

IMPORTANT: Dont rely on any tax related advice given in an online forum. Not even mine. :) Better ask a tax consultant. If his advice is false, you can hold him responsible for the damage.

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Posted

Ok thank you.

But I have another question. Is it possible to use Elster and fill up part of the stuff and then save it and come back to it another day? Or has it to be done in one go?

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Posted

Yes, it is possible. before closing Elester, save it . Next time you open the same document, you will have all the data.

Try it yourself with little data.

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Posted

Ok, thank you.

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Posted

Hello,

can someone tell me where to find the Steuernummer?

Its not in my Tax card...

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Posted

I assume that you are new in germany and havent done any tax declaration yet. In that case you just might not have one yet. In the ELSTER software, if you click on the field Steuernummer, a window is opening where you can check a box "Ich habe keine aktuelle Steuernummer." But you need to figure out which Finanzamt is the correct recipient for your tax declaration.

If you already did a tax declaration for an earlier year, you could look into your "Steuerbescheid" (tax statement).

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Posted

In addition, you could try clicking here and searching for the terms Steuernummer and tax number to see if other ideas come up

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Posted

Just wanted to make this explicit -- there's a very helpful wiki page on TT that explains in English all the steps for using the online ELSTER. It's linked above every time someone types in Elster.

The Elster system is currently broken for anyone who updated Java since August 6, 2009: you have to downgrade your Java to use it currently.

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Posted

Am I the only person who wonders if naming an online tax filing system "Elster" (magpie) was a huge inside joke?

Generally speaking, the bird is associated with unhappiness and trouble. This may be because of its well known tendency to "steal" shiny objects, as well as its harsh, chittering call.
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Posted

Yes. Der diebische Elster. Apparently our company's payroll system has a similar name and I asked my boss today if it too were named after a thieving bird...

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