Claiming tax deductions

141 posts in this topic

Hi,

 

can anyone tell me the list of expenses that entitles me for a tax refund. I am an individual tax payer and I fall under tax category 1.

Earlier my tax return were taken care by Ernst and Young as they were appointed by my company but recently I have changed my Job and now I have to do it on my own. When they did it I remember that they claimed for a refund of some 200 Euros and they did ask me if I did some German language course, travel distance from home to workplace, if I spend money for buying cloths etc etc. I did not present any bills to them though I mentioned few of the expenditures. I would be interested to know if there is a kind of list published by German government for which you can claim tax exemption and get the refund for the same.

 

Other most important question is if I am paying rent for my apartment in Germany and I am not living in my apartment as my project is in some xyz country outside Europe for say 3-4 months can I ask for the tax refund on this rent amount. In most of the countries there is an entitlement called HRA house rent allowance which is actually non taxable and can be exempted after showing proper document for specified limit. Is it also same in Germany. Is the rent that you are paying can be exempted ?

 

Thanks in advance.

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I would be interested to know if there is a kind of list published by German government for which you can claim tax exemption and get the refund for the same.

 

 

Yes of course. When you receive the forms for your tax declaration, your main income tax declaration will come with a fairly long explanation (maybe 16 sides) of how to fill out the form and the deductions you can offset.

 

That's how those of us that do it ourselves know what to put on there :). (The ones you mention are very recognisable).

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Earlier my tax return were taken care by Ernst and Young as they were appointed by my company but recently I have changed my Job and now I have to do it on my own.

 

You don't have to do it on your own. You can quite easily appoint a tax adviser to do it for you....

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Disclaimer: I'm not a tax advisor, and in Germany, only tax advisors are allowed to give tax advice

 

 

 

can anyone tell me the list of expenses that entitles me for a tax refund.

 

Look here for a list:

- in German, so that you know the German names for these expenses

- above list machine-translated into English

 

 

 

Other most important question is if I am paying rent for my apartment in Germany and I am not living in my apartment as my project is in some xyz country outside Europe for say 3-4 months can I ask for the tax refund on this rent amount.

 

If at the other place you work for 3-4 months you own an apartment and live in it or rent another apartment there, you may be eligible for deductions in accordance with the regulation about "two households" (= Doppelte Haushaltsführung).

 

But please check with a German tax advisor.

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I suggest you get yourself a tax adviser - sure, you could try to fill out all of the forms yourself, but the cahnces are that an experienced tax advisor will be able to get more of a tax-refund for you.

The cost of a tax advisor filling out your forms can be off-set against your tax liability for the following year.

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Thanks all for your advice and suggestion.

 

I heard that its pretty expensive if I approach tax adviser so rather than saving I would end up spending more hence I would want to do it myself and I believe its not so difficult as many people do themselves.

 

By the way what is the date for filing your tax returns ?

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It depends what you call "expensive". If the tax advisor gives you advice that gets you €1000 back and charges you €500 for doing it, then it's worth doing it. I'm sure Ernst and Young weren't cheap, but your previous company paid for them. I guess you are likely to get paid more by your new company, so why not use some of the difference to get professional advice? Running a "double household" can be quite lucrative from a tax of point of view, but there are many pitfalls to avoid in how you claim this.

 

If you don't even know the last date for submitting the forms (pretty elementary stuff) I doubt you are capable of completing the paperwork to your best advantage if your situation is complex.

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As far as I know a cheaper option would be lohnsteuerverein to file. Their fees depends on your income, here is one example of them:

VLH

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About the Lohnsteuerhilfeverein (=wage tax help association), they are non-profit organisations that charge according to your total income, i.e. the gross income before taxes and before applying possible deductions.

 

You have to pay a membership fee of 10€ when you first join.

For that you can ask them questions anytime you want.

 

Here's their charge table, taken from here:

 

post-24869-12935719321062.png

 

So, if for example your income is:

50,000€ gross salary + 1,000€ interest income --> 51,000€ --> the fee for giving you tax advice and filling in the tax forms for you is 156€

 

 

By the way what is the date for filing your tax returns ?

 

Until May 31st, for the previous calendar year, i.e. 31. May 2011 for the income tax return for 2010.

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I have a question regarding German course and flights. Can I claim tax back on these things if I was not registered in Munich at the time (Registered April 2010). I took the courses prior to registering here so was staying at a friends place for the duration of each course and flew back and forth in between. (Nov, Dec 2009 and Jan 2010)

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Can someone tell me about German course tax deduction conditions? or a link with description? I could not find that in the above mentioned link.

 

My main questions are: does the German-language have to be "requirement" of the work or not? and if there is any minimum/maximum for that.

 

Best,

Arash

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What's wrong with the list in post #5?

 

I presume you refer to the possibility to deduct for German language lessons. If you don't need German for your work then you can claim that learning German will make you more employable or have the ability to find a better job. The FA may dispute this, especially if you are non-EU and have a job-linked work permit, but it's always worth a try. The worst they can do is say no.

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Thanks for the tip.

 

I cannot find the part about German-language lessons in Post #5.(my german is in very basic level)

 

But if there is a minimum expense like 1000€ it is good to know NOW, so I can decide weather to continue or stop the courses. (I have already paid more than 700€)

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Maybe this helps. (Translation)

 

There is neither a minimum nor maximum allowable amount, but you must show it is relevant to your job (or professional future). I'm sure most employers would provide evidence of this if you ask them, even if it's not really required for your position. Apart from the effort of writing the letter it's no skin of their nose.

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Thanks YorkshireLad6,

 

I would probably continue to take the courses. Though it won't be easy to get the letter, as I have a contract with university and for the start I don't know where to get the letter. But then again there is a lot of time to figure that out.

 

Cheers,

Arash

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There's no need for a lot of formality to the letter. Have your line manager scribble something on University notepaper

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I have two questions:

First one is, my wife and I had a baby girl in US but the insurance company didn't pay all of the expenses. Some people told me that I can claim that part which was not paid by the insurance company and deduce from tax.

The second question is: What is the max(with a brutto of 55K) amount for tax deduction for making donations to non-profit organizations and how much in return does one get? Let's say if I donated 2000 euro how much of that do I get? Sounds contrary to the meaning of donation but what can I do guys, living in these days of materialism...

Thanks,

E.

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