Filing a tax return - help on how to file

3,274 posts in this topic

If in 2010 you were:

 

  1. an employee and your gross monthly income was over 3,750€ and
  2. you were a member of public health insurance
you should check your Lohnsteuerbescheinigung 2010 to see whether a common mistake has been made by your company when issuing it.

 

It has come to light that DATEV (provides the wage accounting services to most companies in Germany) and other providers have a mistake in their software and because of that, too low health and nursing insurance contributions were certified in the Lohnsteuerbescheinigungen.

 

If you fulfill the above conditions lines 25 and 26 in your Lohnsteuerbescheinigung should contain all contributions (yours and your employer's, although it only says Arbeitnehmer in there!):

line 25: 6705€

line 26: 877.56€

If the amounts there are lower then you should contact your employer and ask them to issue you a new Lohnsteuerbescheinigung for 2010.

 

If you don't you will only be able to deduct 405.12€ as expenses for your health & nursing insurance in your 2010 tax return, instead of the correct 3,993.84€, see below (source):

 

post-24869-12983094810067.jpg

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There's a lot of information here so let me just be sure that I understand this correctly.

 

I'm a student, and receive scholarship money from the US. Does this count as foreign income and therefore require me to use the Mantelbogen ESt 1A (rather than the simplified ESt 1V) and the Anlage AUS?

 

In addition, I've worked both as a freelancer and an employee in the past year, so I will need the Anlage N, and S, correct?

 

I think in the end, I'll probably have to get myself a tax advisor, but I at least want to have a vague understanding of what's going on with my money.

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I'm a student, and receive scholarship money from the US. Does this count as foreign income and therefore require me to use the Mantelbogen ESt 1A (rather than the simplified ESt 1V) and the Anlage AUS?

 

You will need the full Mantelbogen ESt 1A anyway because you had income from being self-employed.

 

About your scholarship, if it was a Fulbright scholarship (§3 section 42 Einkommensteuergesetz) or a scholarship which corresponds to what a German Stipendium (§3 section 44 Einkommensteuergesetz) pays you for (not more than to cover your cost of living, not obliging you to work for a certain number of hours), then it will be tax free. You will however still have to fill in the scholarship amount you got in your tax return because that scholarship money will raise your personal tax rate you will have to pay on your other income (Progressionvorbehalt), but it itself will not be taxed.

You will have to fill it in into line 94 of the Mantelbogen ESt 1A and attach copies of documents certifiying how much it was and where it came from.

 

If you are not sure whether your US scholarship fulfills the above rules, fill it into line 94 of the Mantelbogen anyway, attach the documentation and let the Finanzamt decide.

 

 

In addition, I've worked both as a freelancer and an employee in the past year, so I will need the Anlage N, and S, correct?

 

Correct.

Freelancer income: Anlage S

Employee income: Anlage N

 

 

I think in the end, I'll probably have to get myself a tax advisor, but I at least want to have a vague understanding of what's going on with my money.

 

About the tax advisor fees, there's a law governing what they can charge (as there is a law for nearly everything in Germany), the Steuerberatergebührenverordnung (StBGebV).

 

As a freelancer you have to add the charges from 3 tables, they go by your total income:

 

  1. consultation table (= Beratungstabelle)
  2. profit/loss account table (= Abschlußtabelle)
  3. bookkeeping table (= Buchführungstabelle)

Those fees aren't always taken 100% (i.e. 10/10), it depends on how difficult your case is. See here for example cost calculations.

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Panda, you are a Tax Hero*.

 

 

 

PandaMunich is a legitimate TT superhero.

 

I obviously agree :D

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Hi,

 

I have been pretty lazy in putting my tax declaration and it is high time I do one now. I did an internship for 6 months from july 2008 to dec 2008 and then am fully employed since Jan2009 till date.

question - can I file my tax declaration for all this time so far right now?

 

Also eversince I have been formally employed (Jan 2009), I send my mother 500€ for her maintenance back to India. I used Money2India transfer, a feature from ICICI bank where in I transfer the money to a local account of ICICI bank in a german bank in Germany from where it is automatically trasfered to my mothers account. Can I claim this money in my tax declaration?

 

Also since I had an education loan from a bank in India I used to transfer another 500€ every month to a local account of their bank with Deutsch bank in Germany. I have statements from the bank declaring the amount received by them in the last 2 years as a repayment of loan. Can I claim this money in my tax declaration?

 

I would appreciate a clarification on this as well as where to fill in this information and what to attach as proof...

 

thanks in advance...

 

best regards

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@playsafe

 

You are in luck, there's been a court ruling by the highest German Finance Court (= Bundesfinanzhof) and this means you can are still permitted to submit your tax return for 2008. Of course, also for 2009 and 2010 :)

But don't put it off anymore or even the more generous term of 4 years will expire.

 

About the money you send to your mother in India, yes, you can claim that as a expense but depending on your income only a part of it will count (only the part which poses an "exceptional burden" to you = außergewöhnliche Belastung).

 

Also, some official state department in India will have to fill in the first part of a specific "Maintenance declaration" form certifying that she really lives there, how many other people live in the house, what her profession is and it will have to sign the first part of the form and stamp it with an official stamp. Your mother as the supported person will have to fill in the second part of the form, saying what her other income was and also sign the form.

See post no. 55 about this on the previous page of this thread for more details. I have noticed that the link I gave there to the forms has expired, so you will need:

 

  1. Anlage Unterhalt (which you fill in and to which you attach copies of the documents that prove that you actually paid that money to your mother), and
  2. the Maintenance declaration form, the first part of which some official state department in India has to fill in, sign and stamp (probably the English version, since there isn't one in Hindi) and the second part of which your mother has to fill in and sign.

If you can't get the Indian authority to fill it in, try submitting your tax return only with the Anlage Unterhalt and your proofs of payment, it may work.

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The tax report is not obligatory right? I've asked twice at the Finanzamt and that is what they said.

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@Chat Noir

 

What do you mean by tax report? If you mean your supported relative's tax return certification proving how much other income they had (i.e. if they are really needy), then I think no.

The German Finanzamt still seems to start the whole process in the belief that human beings are basically good and that your supported relative won't lie on the Maintenance form for you ;)

 

But that's just my interpretation, they do have the right to check afterwards if what was filled in into the Maintenance form was really true, so maybe your tax department is just being unusually suspicious?

 

However, I think the case of a relative in Greece (we are talking about Greece Chat Noir, aren't we?) needing financial support is rarer than a relative in India needing it, so that may be the reason why they want to check on what you claimed.

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Sorry, that is what I meant!Steuererklärung.(now my post will go to the TT3M thread :) )

 

A tax return in general is not obligatory. They said only if I receive money from somewhere else apart from work (ie. collect rent)

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@Chat Noir

What they told you is correct.

As long as you only have income from being an employee (your employer has already taxed it), or Krankengeld, or ALG I or ALG II-Hartz IV (all of which are tax-free) you don't have to do a income tax return.

 

However, anybody who has paid tax stands to benefit from doing a voluntary tax return, since there is a seemingly endless list of expenses you can claim under German tax law, like moving costs, costs for your way to/from work, costs for writing job applications, costs for travelling to/from job interviews, training costs, costs for text books, bank account costs, stationary costs, postage costs, since 2010 health insurance and other insurance costs, ...

 

In case that you have additional income that hasn't been taxed yet like income from outside Germany or income from renting out a flat/house/garage, they are right, you would have to do a tax return and pay tax on that not yet taxed income.

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thanks Panda munich.. thats great news that i can submit my tax declaration for 2008. Also for the very useful information on the maintainance claim.

 

does my education loan repayments count as additional costs and can i claim it? A friend told me since my loan is from an Indian bank, I annot claim this deduction. could you please clarify on this..

 

thanks a ton again for all the valuable information...

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does my education loan repayments count as additional costs and can i claim it? A friend told me since my loan is from an Indian bank, I annot claim this deduction. could you please clarify on this..

 

You can always try to claim a deduction, the worst they can do is not accept it and in the best case they will accept it and you will save some taxes. Just remember to also aubmit copies of all your payment proofs with your tax return.

 

Please read Claiming tax benefits after marriage on the deduction of education loan interest. The thread is valid for the 2008 tax forms.

 

For 2009 and 2010, the line numbers remained the same in the Ablage S (if you were a freelancer), but they changed from line 54 to line 49 in Anlage N (if you were an employee).

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... like income from outside Germany or income from renting out a flat/house/garage, they are right, you would have to do a tax return and pay tax on that not yet taxed income.

 

As some may know, since 2008 rental income from most other EU countries is exempt from your EU country of residence (ie. German) tax. Of course the finanzamt letter I got, also then disregards any costs associated with the 'foreign property', which is logical. There are some threads about this on Toytown Eg. "Britsh rental income post".

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Hello,

 

What is happening to the people who worked in Germany in 2010 and then they moved. How are the tax declarations handled?

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What is happening to the people who worked in Germany in 2010 and then they moved. How are the tax declarations handled?

 

You worked and were a resident in Germany in 2010?

Well, why then should your declaration for 2010 be treated differently from someone's who is still a resident in 2011?

 

When filling in the Mantelbogen you just fill in your new address (in Finland?) and if you no longer have a German bank account, your Finnish bank's IBAN and BIC/SWIFT code for the tax reimbursement you hope to get.

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If your spouse lives in another EU country you are normally treated as single by the Germany tax authority.

You can however apply to have your spouse treated as voluntarily tax-resident in Germany even if he/she was living in another EU country the whole time and then you will get the tax reliefs reserved for married people in Germany, i.e. the first 16,008€ of your joint family income will be tax-free.

 

It has been written here on Toytown (by me among others) that for this to be possible, the spouse resident outside Germany was not allowed to earn more than 10% of the family income (i.e. the German income had to be at least 90% of the family income).

 

I just read in a tax newsletter (here's the newsletter, scroll down to "Guest workers"), that the the condition about the spouse not being allowed to earn more than 10% of the family income was eliminated back in 2008.

 

The problem was that even the Finanzamt didn't know about this, so now Germany's highest financial court, the Bundesfinanzhof had to draw their attention to it in this court ruling.

 

So starting with the tax year 2008 the only conditions are:

 

  1. the person earning the money in Germany has to have EU citizenship (the spouse living outside Germany however does not have to hold EU citizenship), and
  2. the spouse has to be resident in another EU country

To apply for voluntary taxation for your spouse in Germany so that you benefit from the splitting tariff for married people (i.e. the first 16,008€ of your joint family income to be tax free), you have to:

 

  1. put an X in line 105 of the Mantelbogen tax form, and
  2. fill in your family's income from outside Germany into line 103 of the Mantelbogen tax form, and
  3. have the tax authority of the country your spouse lives in fill in the "Bescheinigung EU/EWR" and attach it to your tax forms
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To apply for voluntary taxation for your spouse in Germany so that you benefit from the splitting tariff for married people (i.e. the first 16,008€ of your joint family income to be tax free), you have to:

 

  1. put an X in line 105 of the Mantelbogen tax form, and
  2. fill in your family's income from outside Germany into line 103 of the Mantelbogen tax form, and
  3. have the tax authority of the country your spouse lives in fill in the "Bescheinigung EU/EWR" and attach it to your tax forms

 

Thanks again - I like explicit information and it is hard to be more explicit than that :)

 

Ivo.

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Hi there,

I just came across this topic and I have some questions:

- how long do you have to work in Germany before you can apply for a Tax Return?

- what exactly can you deduct from your taxes?

- do you have to attach, let's say in case of public transport, any tickets? (sorry if this is a dumb question :D)

 

Thank you.

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