Claiming tax deductions

142 posts in this topic

 

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.

 

Yes, you can claim them as Außergewöhnliche Belastung (= extraordinary burden), but there's a catch, the more you earn, the less will the Finanzamt allow to "count" from what you paid for medical bills.

 

Have a look at Filing a Tax Return 2010 in for details.

 

With a gross income of 55,000€ and a child, this means that they will only consider bills in excess of 2,200€ (=4% of said gross income of 55,000€)

 

Example: Medical bills 5,000€

--> You have to submit all your bills for 5,000€

--> They will only allow a reduction in your taxable income of 2,800€ for those 5,000€ bills (= 5,000€ - 2,200€)

 

You claim for the außergewöhnliche Belastung in lines 68 to 70 of the Mantelbogen tax form.

 

 

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...

 

You are allowed to donate up to 5% of your gross income for church, religious or non-profit organisations, and up to 10% of your gross income for charitable, scientific or cultural purposes.

 

For donations up to 100€ the bank transfer slip is your proof, for amounts over 100€, the organisation you are giving the money will have to issue you a specific piece of paper called Spendenquittung which states the donated amount and some other important things, e.g. when they were last controlled by the Finanzamt to prove that they are non-profit (has to be within the last 5 years).

 

So, if you give to an organisation that the German Finanzamt does not recognise as non-profit, then you can't claim these donations in your tax return.

 

The Spendenquittung (whose official name is Zuwendungsbestätigung) has to contain many specific details, see here for the offical examples, page 4 in this file for a money donation, page 5 if you donated goods.

 

You claim for donations in line 49 of of the Mantelbogen tax form and you have to attach all the Spendenquittungen in the original as proof.

 

Your "pecuniary return" would be whatever tax you save since your new taxable income is (55,000€ - what you donated).

But again, only if you donate to an organisation recognised by the German tax department!

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Hello all,

 

this year I will do my first tax return here in Germany; I started to work on January 2011.

I talked with a collegue who did already for 2 or 3 times and told me that "a lot" of things can be reimbursed, as for example:

 

1) German course

2) Relocation cost from Italy to Germany

3) House expenses (washing machine, for example, or furniture)

4) Trip to Italy (I am the owner of a flat there and once a while I go back to check it)

 

Is this true?

Is this false?

 

Thanks

Marco

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1) German course

2) Relocation cost from Italy to Germany

3) House expenses (washing machine, for example, or furniture)

4) Trip to Italy (I am the owner of a flat there and once a while I go back to check it)

 

Is this true?

Is this false?

 

1. False - they changed the rules a year or so again. You now cannot claim German courses, as apparently learning German is not a requirement for working in Germany, it is just for your own enjoyment - or something like that. However, if you find a tax officer who says otherwise, please give me their number - wanted to claim my German lessons back last year, but was told I could no longer do this.

 

2. - not sure but do not think so unless it was part of your job package

3. - not sure but would LOOOOOVE to know if this was possible!

4. I think you can only claim expenses getting back to your place in Italy, if you are also declaring any income you make from the property. If you are not declaring income, as far as I know you cannot claim the expense. For all the German tax authorities know, you could just be visiting friends.

 

Disclaimer - I am not a tax adviser, just a clueless tax payer who believes everything my tax adviser says....unless I am informed otherwise by YL6 who should really be my tax adviser as he seems to know more than my tax adviser...

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My experience is that you can try to claim for all sorts of things - sometimes they slip through, and sometimes they don´t.

My tax advisor, for example, claims a trip to England every second year for me to visit my bank (never heard of online banking!) - anyway, so far it has gotten through 66% of the time.

 

Seriously though, consult a tax advisor at least for the first lot of tax forms - then you will have a basis for the next lot!

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Yes, of course; first here I will do it with a tax advisor...just to be sure :)

 

You said "you can try"...of...but on what is based the decision?

 

Thanks

Marco

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The decision is based upon the fact that they can only say "no" - if you don´t try, then you don´t even have that chance, do you?

Find yourself a good tax advisor, and to everything s/he says "we could try..." just say "yes", okay?

The tax authorities are never going to come along and say "Hey, you seen to have forgotten to claim XY&Z, shall we add that to your claim for you?"

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Do you pay church tax? If yes, don't forget to claim tax exemption for, let's say EUR 100 per year. Just claim that this is the amount of money you spend to the Sunday collection box every year.

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Ok, thanks.

No, I do not pay church tax.

 

When is the deadline for the tax return? A friend of mine is doing right now tax declaration for 2010, is it possible?

 

Thanks

Marco

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Don't know I'm never late because I always need the money XD

 

Seriously I am pretty sure that there is only a deadline if you have to make a tax computation, when you are a freelancer or self dependent. But then I guess they would send you a demand note if you're late.

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@MarcoGT

 

 

  1. True.

  2. True.

  3. True for simple furniture (e.g. a bed, a table, ...) if you qualify for doppelte Haushaltsführung, which, since you keep up an apartment in Italy, you do, see post no. 220 in Filing a Tax Return and the link in it for details. You can also claim 24€ per day Verpflegungsmehraufwendungen for the first 3 months after you moved here.

  4. True.
As an employee you are allowed to file a tax return for up to 7 years after.

 

Please see post no. 10 in this very thread to see how to have a Lohnsteuerhilfeverein file the tax return for you and thereby have to pay less than for a freelance tax advisor.

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A friend of mine gave me his advisor; she does not belong to Lohnsteuerhilfeverein, but she is a freelance...

How the cost I have to pay is calculated, more or less?

 

One more thing: does relocation mean also inside Germany? (Munich - Hamburg, for example)

 

Thanks

Marco

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does relocation mean also inside Germany? (Munich - Hamburg, for example)

 

Yes, if you moved because of your job.

 

 

A friend of mine gave me his advisor; she does not belong to Lohnsteuerhilfeverein, but she is a freelance...

How the cost I have to pay is calculated, more or less?

 

Please see post 2 in Is going to a Steuerberater worth it for me? for cost examples.

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[adminmerge][/adminmerge]

Hello.

 

I, my wife and son (3 years old) moved to Germany since September 2012, from Italy (my wife is not European).

 

My wife work in a German software house since mid September, I'm jobless, my son attend Kindergarten since November 2012.

 

A German friend told us that you don't need to do tax declaration unless you have to ask some tax deductions.

To make this declaration it's better to ask some Steuerberater(tax consultant), to ask him/her what is tax deductable, being careful that the cost of the consultant is not bigger than the deduction you are going to get. (how much is the consultant fee, for example?).

 

Our friend told us the relocating cost from Italy to Germany is a typical case, but he does not know about Kindergarten expanses, some help for a job-less husband or anything else.

 

So the question is:

what is tax deductable? Can you write down an example list and, if possible, the applied percentage of the cost we had?

 

Thanks in advance.

Cristian

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First of all, I'd like to state that I am not a tax consultant, so following information is based soley on my personal experience over the last few years

 

Deducable are things like:

 

Costs for travellling to and from work

Cost of cleaning your work clothes (this is a "may" thing, they may or may not allow tax deduction for this, it depends on the person handling the claim and their mood, they are not obliged to do so)

Work clothes

Childcare

Jobseeking cost (CV photos, tranport to interview etc..)

Insurance

Mobile phones PC etc… (if they are for work)

Quarterly doctor's/dentist's fee (Praxisgebühr)

Medicine

Physio, massages etc (if the doctor prescribed them)

Dental treatment

Donations

House/apartment repairs

Home office cost

 

As far as relocation costs are concerned, as far as I know, it's only tax deductable if you moved because of work. I'm sure there's loads more things that I can't think of right now, but maybe others have more suggestions

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If you maintain a home in your country of origin, and are here for work purposes, then also your rent and living expenses (electricity, water, phone,etc.) are deductable.

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Hello all,

 

I was told by someone that expenses we incurred while on business travel outside Germany are tax deductible. Is it?

 

If yes, questions :)

1. What kind of expenses are deductible? Food/meals?

2. Which part of the tax form this deductibles go to? Anlage N?

3. Any limit to how much you can "claim"?

 

How about those expenses when you travel outside Germany for holiday? Can those be deductible as well?

 

Thanks for answering!

 

-lz

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If you are self-employed then you can claim a tax deduction on the expenses incurred, including travel, meals and accommodation, assuming you are travelling and incurring expenses wholly as part your business activity. If you are employed and your employer reimburses your expenses then you cannot claim any tax benefit. If you travel for business but your employer does not reimburse you then you can claim the benefit, but only if your employer agrees that you incurred these expenses as part of your employment in his business. Rather than document your expenses there are flat-rate expenses you can claim (per-diems and accommodation) depending on the country and city you travel to.

 

To expect that you can claim tax relief for a holiday beggars belief.

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My passport expires in less than a year so sometime soonish I'll need to renew it. If I travel internationally a few times a year for work (angestellt & living in München / not self-employed), would the costs of renewing the passport be tax deductable?

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