How to appeal a Finanzamt income tax judgement

25 posts in this topic

Perhaps this thread will get merged, TT's search doesn't allow searches for 'tax' as the word is too short but I couldn't find anything similar...

 

Mrs. Angel submitted a tax declaration which she did in a hurry but following a template she has used several times before and expected a few hundred euros back. She's a normal salaried employee with no extra income or special circumstances, she's tax class I so not obliged to even submit a form. It was a bit of a surprise when the Finanzamt wrote back to say she owes them extra money, not much but more than we would like to pay.

 

What options are now open - is it possible to write back and say that there must have been a mistake on the form and we should redo it, or just ask them to forget the whole thing? Any advice welcome. The amounts involved are too small to make it worthwhile asking for professional advice, so we turn to the great and good on TT.

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Phone them - they are actually nice, helpful people, just doing their jobs.

If you can convince them that a mistake has been made then they will help you to sort it out - at least mine did!

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...more than we would like to pay.

Like it's optional?

You can resubmit your tax declaration at any time, marking it as "correction". Sometimes you need to do this if you get unexpected income or additional expenses not included with the first form. It's also acceptable if you simply made a mistake with the original form completion. But first I'd check (or have checked) their calculation - unless you know the mistake was your doing, they might even be right... Bear in mind too that the FA can also revisit your submission at any time and re-assess their own decision.

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I second calling them. They are required to chat with you and all my interactions with them have been very pleasant, even when I blatantly tried to hide some lucrative trades in the U.S. from them.

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You can just write to them of course but the best thing will be to set out the maths in detail - ie. more than "but I expected to pay less" ideally. What's the reason for the difference between what your wife expected to pay and the calculations made by Finanzamt? You can presumably identify what she did pay from her pay slips (and your own calculations as needed using applicable taxable allowances etc) and compare it to Finanzamt calculations and thus identify where they got it wrong.

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I agree with YL6 (is that the short form for it?). If you ring them, they will want to know exactly which bit you are querying. Simply a feeling that it's too much isn't going to do it. They're not going to go through the entire thing with it and tell you what their reasoning is. You have to be able to point out to them which bit in either their calculation, or your filing of the form, was incorrect, and you will have to do that in writing anyway. With no justification for what's wrong, you will just have to accept it.

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I think in this case she could just call though, it's unusual as a normal salaried employee who generally gets something back from them every year to suddenly have to pay them something - especially if nothing has changed. Surely that's reason enough for the query.

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But you can tell whether anything has changed from the assessment, surely? It's not like you just get a piece of paper with an amount to pay / get back on.

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depending on the amount of money you might want to contact a tax advisor - it could be that she missed a couple of options to reduce her tax burden and thus you might be able to lower the overall assessed taxes.

 

Cheerio

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Thanks everyone - the point is we don't know what it is that has caused them to decide she owes them money. She has no income apart from her salaried job and all income tax for that is deducted at source by her employer, as usual.

 

If she had not submitted a tax declaration she would owe them nothing, and she did put some deductable expenses (commuting, home office stuff, publications, etc.) which should have given her a small refund. The only thing we can think of is her employer made a mistake calculating her income tax liability, which starts to get a bit worrying, or perhaps she put the wrong number in the wrong box on the form.

 

I think the best advice is to call them and ask, perhaps we can then submit a correction. The amount she has to pay is small but, put into the preferred currency of clothes and shoes, is far more than she wants to pay in extra tax :rolleyes:

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The taxman is hardly going to respond by "oh yes, we've made a mistake" unless you can justify your query. Simply telling him you don't like to pay additional tax is not good justification.

An income tax statement is much more than "we owe you €xx and will send it to you tomorrow" or "you owe us €xx, send it to us today" - it's pretty detailed on how they assessed her income, the deductions they agree to , tax already paid and any residue to pay/be refunded. If they have not agreed with any numbers you have submitted there is also an explanation why. Can't you cross check their numbers with yours to see where the mistake might be?

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Well we read the statement they sent us and didn't understand what on earth they are on about, just random numbers, mysterious calculations and big words. We can read it through again and, as you say, try to cross-reference the values, and if that fails call them up and ask them where the extra liability came from, ie. how could her employer not get it right, or what did we put where that changed things. I don't expect them to just roll over but understanding their basis for calculation is step 1.

 

The point I am asking is not that payment is optional or otherwise, the point of the thread and that which is now established, is that if we can figure out what caused this result we can perhaps change it and submit a correction, which will perhaps get us a refund. Payment is not optional but submitting a correction can make the payment change to a refund, you see?

 

Everything on this form is for her individual situation, we are not zusammenverlangt for this declaration.

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Well, pick up the phone first thing on Monday morning, and use the weekend to get yourself sorted out as to exactly what questions you want to ask them, okay?

good luck!

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Go to the Finanzamt and ask the Finanzbeamte who was in charge of your case. Unless you have a very specific question you won´t get anywhere trying to discuss such a complex matter on the phone. You have the additional advantage of being able to file an appeal against the Steuerbescheid right there (Einspruch zur Niederschrift) instead of having to send it in writing.

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Ok, so we checked the numbers we sent to the Finanzamt and to our limited understanding of what we're doing they look correct. This seems to indicate that the employer isn't doing the tax calculation correctly, can this be? We'll give them a call but perhaps as Oblomov suggests go to see them.

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This seems to indicate that the employer isn't doing the tax calculation correctly, can this be?

Could well be. I had several cases where the company deducted more tax than they should have, but they always noticed it rectified it in a later salary payment.

 

It might be worth asking your wife's company's HR or payroll dept to check it.

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Yep, I would totally ask payroll then go talk to the finanzamt. I got notices asking for more tax both of the years I lived there - and I had a big four accounting firm prepping the returns (as I worked for said big four). First time they just wanted back up info for certain deductions and all was hunky dory, the second was a withholding discrepancy. Neither time did I end up having to pay the assessment (and one of them was pretty huge).

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Old thread but the topic title fits.

 

We have been objecting to a Finanzamt decision which required us to repay quite a large amount, previously granted as tax rebates. We have repaid the sum, but with strong objections. Our Steuerberater has submitted the appeals against their decision, but to no avail.

Today's letter from the Fa reiterates their decision and wants us to withdraw the appeal by the end of this month, and has sent a prepared form for this. 

The (simple ?!) question is , what happens if we do not reply by their deadline? Will they just close the case automatically? Or will we start to incur costs with them? Morally we do not want to withdraw in writing an objection to a decision that we feel is wrong, and that even the Steuerberater says is very harsh. 

 

( The next legal step as I understand it would be to present the case to the Finanzgericht, but obviously this would be where legal expenses can escalate fast and the risks of failure carrying court costs... shiver...)

I'll of course speak to the Sb. on Monday but would be grateful for any helpful food for thought. Thanks.

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