Filing a tax return - help on how to file

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I am looking for a child support payment tax credit, and I have read and searched the TT Wiki for answers with no luck.

 

I am divorced and pay child support (not alimony) to my ex-wife in the US for two young kids who live in the US full-time. I receive no Kindergeld. The only expenses I have is the monthly child support, nothing specific, like education costs, etc.

 

Is there a special form or a section in the Anlange Kind for a credit against the child support payments?

 

Thanks in advance for any help or advice.

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No, what you will get is the Kinderfreibetrag of 2,184€ (corresponds to 0.5 children) and the Betreuungsfreibetrag/Bedarfsfreibetrag of 1,320€ (corresponds to 0.5 children), i.e. in total a tax credit of 3,504€, which are not dependent on how much child support you pay.

 

Since your ex is not taxable in Germany, the article linked below says that you also get allocated her tax credit, i.e. you get another 3,504€ tax credit. However, if your ex gets child benefit in the US, this will be subtracted from her 3,504€.

 

  • "Ein Steuerpflichtiger erhält den vollen Kinderfreibetrag und den vollen Bedarfsfreibetrag, wenn der andere Elternteil seinen Wohnsitz im Ausland hat und daher nicht unbeschränkt steuerpflichtig ist."

This would mean that you get in total a tax credit of 7.008€ per child.

You automatically apply for this tax credit by filling in the "Anlage Kind" as part of your tax return.

  • Since your child lives outside Germany, there is also a correction factor depending on how cheaply one can live in the country that the child lives in.
    Fortunately for you, the US are in country group 4, which means that they are considered just as expensive as Germany, which means that the correction factor is 4/4 = 1 and that you get the entire 3,504€ tax credit (plus your ex's 3,504€).

    However, if, for example, the child had been living in Turkey (country group 2), the correction factor would be 2/4 = 1/2, and you would only get 1,752€ tax credit (plus 1,752€ from your ex's child tax credit).

 

Here's an article on the Haufe web site on the topic of the Kinderfreibetrag for children living outside Germany.

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OK. Fully understand. Thank you!

 

Anlage U seems to be also related, such as allowing the credit to be granted monthly from a employee paycheck.

 

Any opinion if it is more or less complex to go that route?

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No, Anlage U (not to be confused with Anlage Unterhalt!) is just for alimony paid to an ex, not for alimony paid to your child.

That's why it says on the Anlage U:

 

  • "für Unterhaltsleistungen an den geschiedenen oder dauernd getrennt lebenden Ehegatten"

 

For details please see Tax on Alimony received.

 

*********************************

 

And before you ask, Anlage Unterhalt isn't the right place either, you can only claim in Anlage Unterhalt for children for whom you can get neither Kindergeld nor child tax credit, i.e. for children who have finished their first job training and are jobless, or for kids still in job training but over 25 years old.

Details on when to fill in Anlage Unterhalt in this Finanztip article.

 

*********************************

 

So what you should do is fill in Anlage Kind and thereby apply for the child tax credit.

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OK, got it.

 

Really, thank you very much for the help!

 

You make the explanations perfectly clear to a non-tax expert.

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With bank savings interest rates steadily falling over time and with several changes to our choices of banks & accounts from time to time, we're left with one particular account for which the interest we received in 2012 was under 1 € per month, yet I still listed it on our Steuererklärung.

Is there a rule governing how small income from a particular source must be before it need no longer be reported?

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The situation now is that people who had less than 1,602€ capital income as a married couple and who had given their German banks Freistellungsaufträge in order to exempt said interest income from tax, do not mention it at all in the tax return.

 

Am I still in time to submit this Freistellungsaufträge for the income I get during 2013 (to save me some trouble in the tax return season of 2014)?

 

And a few specific questions about Anlage Kap, here:

https://www.formulare-bfinv.de/printout/034024_12.pdf

 

I have 3 investments. One had a loss of around 100 Eur, another gave me around 160 Eur, and the other gave me a few paltry euros, some of which (6,79 :/) are to go in Zeile 17 as "ausland". Only the last one sent me a detailed Steuerbescheinigung similar to the ones I got from my job, saying which amounts went into specific "Zeile" in the Anlage Kap.

 

I'm not exactly sure what to do about the win and loss of the other two investments. Technically they are both losing me money as when I subscribed them in 2011 I paid more in an initial subscription commission for each. Can I even count such commission against the profits of the 2nd investment?

Otherwise, I think I can report the earning/loss in Zeile 7 of Anlage Kap (which according to a previous Panda post is for the gross amount of capital earnings), but I don't know the corresponding amounts that would go into the other lines for taxes retained (maybe no taxes were retained there), apparently in lines 50, 51 and 53 (according to the 3rd investment, which does have a few cents to fill into each of those lines).

 

Also, in the Steuerbescheinigung of the 3rd investment, there is an amount that happens to be 0,00 to go in "Zeile 14 oder 15", which fills me with crippling self-doubt...

 

In the Anlage Kap, these lines say:

 

In Anspruch genommener Sparer-Pauschbetrag, der auf die in

den Zeilen 7 bis 13 erklärten Kapitalerträge entfällt (ggf. „0“)

14 ,- 17

 

Bei Eintragungen in den Zeilen 7 bis 13, 16 bis 24 und 32 bis 47:

In Anspruch genommener Sparer-Pauschbetrag, der auf die in

der Anlage KAP nicht erklärten Kapitalerträge entfällt (ggf. „0“)

 

I think it would be safe to fill them both with 0,00 - I translated into being something about a capital gains allowance that I can use to eliminate something, so I wonder if it is related with the whole Freistellungsaufträge procedure that I didn't do.

 

I already know I can put 1 in line 4 and 5 from a previous post.

 

Finally in the Anlage AUS I need to put something in line 5 - the example before was interest from a savings account, in this case it will be some Swiss investment fund so I need to adapt "Zinsen Kapitalvermögen" to maybe "Merhwinnen" perhaps and then put the amount in line 7. Did I get that right?

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Am I still in time to submit this Freistellungsaufträge for the income I get during 2013 (to save me some trouble in the tax return season of 2014)?

 

Yes, generally speaking, as long as the date the interest is credited on hasn't yet passed, you can still give your bank a Freistellungsauftrag for 2013.

However, only residents can give their banks Freistellungsaufträge.

 

Since you have since moved away from Germany, you should send your banks copies of your Abmeldebescheinigung and they will no longer deduct German Abgeltungsteuer from the interest that they paid out from the day you moved away.

 

 

I have 3 investments. One had a loss of around 100 Eur, another gave me around 160 Eur, and the other gave me a few paltry euros, some of which (6,79 :/) are to go in Zeile 17 as "ausland". Only the last one sent me a detailed Steuerbescheinigung similar to the ones I got from my job, saying which amounts went into specific "Zeile" in the Anlage Kap.

 

You will need official Steuerbescheingungen from all German banks, they no longer send them out automatically (since only a small group of customers need them, among them those that also have foreign capital income), so you will have to ask each bank explicitly to send you a Steuerbescheinigung.

 

Without the Steuerbescheingungen being attached in the original(!), your tax return will not be processed, this is non-negotiable.

 

So please contact the banks and ask for those 2012 Steuerbescheinigungen.

For the foreign capital income, please attach copies of the bank slips showing the amounts.

 

 

Technically they are both losing me money as when I subscribed them in 2011 I paid more in an initial subscription commission for each. Can I even count such commission against the profits of the 2nd investment?

 

Whatever you happened in 2011 is irrelevant for your 2012 tax return, here you declare only what happened in 2012.

 

Anyway, it sounds like you bought funds and had to pay an Ausgabeaufschlag, i.e. commission (which by the way is a bad idea, you should have just bought the funds in the stock exchange, there you don't pay it).

 

This Ausgabeaufschlag will only become tax-effective in the year that you sell the funds again (and reduce the profit you will make on the sale, or enlarge the loss that you will make), see here.

But you probably won't be in Germany then, so it will be taxed according to the tax law of the country you will be a resident of.

 

 

Otherwise, I think I can report the earning/loss in Zeile 7 of Anlage Kap (which according to a previous Panda post is for the gross amount of capital earnings), but I don't know the corresponding amounts that would go into the other lines for taxes retained (maybe no taxes were retained there), apparently in lines 50, 51 and 53 (according to the 3rd investment, which does have a few cents to fill into each of those lines).

 

Wait for all the Steuerbescheinigungen, they will tell you exactly what amounts to fill into which line.

Only the banks know how they came to their end result, e.g. if your fund paid foreign tax, and so on.

 

 

Also, in the Steuerbescheinigung of the 3rd investment, there is an amount that happens to be 0,00 to go in "Zeile 14 oder 15", which fills me with crippling self-doubt...

 

In the Anlage Kap, these lines say:

 

In Anspruch genommener Sparer-Pauschbetrag, der auf die in

den Zeilen 7 bis 13 erklärten Kapitalerträge entfällt (ggf. „0“)

14 ,- 17

 

Bei Eintragungen in den Zeilen 7 bis 13, 16 bis 24 und 32 bis 47:

In Anspruch genommener Sparer-Pauschbetrag, der auf die in

der Anlage KAP nicht erklärten Kapitalerträge entfällt (ggf. „0“)

 

I think it would be safe to fill them both with 0,00 - I translated into being something about a capital gains allowance that I can use to eliminate something, so I wonder if it is related with the whole Freistellungsaufträge procedure that I didn't do.

 

Yes, since you did not give your banks Freistellungsaufträge

 


  • (= for exempting your interest for up to the Sparer-Freibetrag of 801€ per person in total, since your wife applies to be tax-resident in Germany each year, she also gets 801€ retroactively in your tax return, the banks would probably not allow her to give a Freistellungsauftrag since she isn't registered in Germany, so it will be 1,602€ for you as a family),

you should fill in 0.

 

For future reference, if you will ever move back to Germany, and will hopefully remember to give your German banks Freistellungsaufträge, here's the reason why they have these cryptic sounding expressions in lines 14 and 15.

 

You basically have 2 possibilities for filling in Anlage KAP:

 

Possibility 1:

Declare all the capital income that you had that year in the Anlage KAP.

I advise doing it this way.

This is the most transparent way and the easiest since they can then check everything and you will be able to understand what you did even a few years after you filled in the form.

Please also do an additional table in Excel listing all your accounts/investments separated into a table for German income and for non-German income with the dates, how much each one earned you, the bank name and the account number for each investment. Hand in that Excel list together with your tax return, so that they too can understand how you reached the total amounts that you fill into Anlage KAP. This Excel list will also help you understand what exactly you filled into the Anlage KAP if you have to explain it a few years down the line or if they should have questions.

In this case, fill in in line 14 ("In Anspruch genommener Sparer-Pauschbetrag, der auf die in den Zeilen 7 bis 13 erklärten Kapitalerträge entfällt") how much of your 801€ (1,602€ if you're a married couple) you already used up by exempting your German interest income that you declared in lines 7 to 13 of the Anlage KAP.

 

Possibility 2:

I do not recommend this way of doing things at all, you lose information content that way and after a few years will no longer understand what exactly you did in that form, so chose this possibility at your own peril.

If you had, for example, less than 801€ German interest income and you had tax-exempted it through a Freistellungsauftrag, plus you also had some foreign/other capital income that you declare in the lines 16 to 24 and 32 to 47 then you are allowed a kind of hybrid declaration.

You simply tell them in line 15 ("In Anspruch genommener Sparer-Pauschbetrag, der auf die in der Anlage KAP nicht erklärten Kapitalerträge entfällt") how much of your Sparer-Freibetrag you used up with all the interest that you will not be again also writing into the Anlage KAP (so it is kind of a lump sum of everything not mentioned in the Anlage KAP).

Again, if you do it the way I recommend, i.e. possibility 1 with you filling in all your capital income into Anlage KAP, you will never ever fill in anything into line 15.

 

 

 

Finally in the Anlage AUS I need to put something in line 5 - the example before was interest from a savings account, in this case it will be some Swiss investment fund so I need to adapt "Zinsen Kapitalvermögen" to maybe "Merhwinnen" perhaps and then put the amount in line 7. Did I get that right?

 

Call it like it is, "Gewinn aus Investment-Fonds"

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Hi PandaMunich,

 

Sorry to bother you (as most likely so many people do!) but can you tell me if your post from 3rd January 2011 about how to fill the tax form is still valid? I would like to fill in the form, I will be leaving Germany next week and keeping the bank account only for the purpose of tax return.

 

My case is very simple: worked for 11 months in 2012, same employer, I have all the tax receipts together with yearly summary (I understand this was sent instead of December statement). Do I need anything else?

 

I would be very grateful for your help!

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Yes, that's enough.

By the way, any bank account worldwide will do, there is no need to keep your German one.

 

For instructions please see the yellow section in the TT Elster wiki: http://www.toytowngermany.com/wiki/ELSTER

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Hi PandaMunich,

 

Thanks a lot for all the helping information to fill the German paperwork. I am new in this forum and I am trying to find out the exact paperwork that I need to send.

 

I am currently working in Munich and Married. My wife is currently studying weiterbildung paid by the Arbeits Agentur for kinderpflegerin. In 2012 she was doing German course at MVHS.

 

Basically I have filled some part the following paperwork

 

- Mantelbogen, ESt 1V (basic) and Mantelbogen ESt 1A - but still not sure which one to send

- Anlage N - for me only

- Anlage Vorsorgeaufwand

- Anlage Unterhalt (2forms - for my parents and for my parents-in-Law)

 

Mantelbogen, ESt 1V (basic)

- under Webungkosten Ehefrau

Can I add the transport cost info for my wife's German course in lines 35, 36, 37 and educational cost in 38? or can I add them on the Anlage N under Weitere Werbungskosten - Sonstiges lines 48, 49?

 

Anlage Unterhalt

Regarding the dates lines 07 & 08 . I read your articles on Anlage Unterhalt - if you support parents/spouse Step-by-step instructions http://www.toytowngermany.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=296106 linking to Filling a tax return (post 757)- http://www.toytowngermany.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=200856&st=750&p=2981402&#entry2981402

 

I have started sending maintenance money to my Parents-in-Law from July 2012. So I add the starting date on line 7 - July 2012 and add in line 8 - 01.01.2012? I am sorry if I got completly wrong

 

Please Help

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You only need one Mantelbogen, there are spaces for both your and your wife's name.

 

If you moved to Germany in 2012 then you have to use the longer Mantelbogen ESt 1A, since you will have to tell them about any income your had in 2012 prior to moving here.

I suggest that you fill in the longer Mantelbogen ESt 1A anyway.

 

You say that your wife is doing a Weiterbildung, i.e. further education, which means that this is not her first job training.

Depending on whether this really is a further (i.e. second or higher) job training for her, or whether this is her first job training, the costs go into different places:

 



  • costs for the first job training are part of Sonderausgaben and go into line 48 of the Mantelbogen ESt 1A. They are limited to 6,000€ (from 2012, before it was just 4,000€).
  • costs for the first job training are part of Werbungskosten and go into line 45 of her Anlage N. There is no limit to them. If she didn't have any employee income, then her Anlage N will only have those costs in line 45.

 

You can try claiming for your wife's German course, but don't be too surprised when they cut it, the general line of the Finanzamt is that learning German is something you have to do anyway for your private life here in Germany, so it isn't tax deductible.

But do try, maybe you'll have luck and they will let it through.

 

If you only sent money to your parents-in-law from July 2012, then you write into "line 8: the date of your first maintenance payment in that calendar year", the exact date that you transferred them money in July 2012, e.g. on 5.7.2012.

Those details are a bit redundant, what you write into the "vom" field in line 7 is exactly what you write into line 8.

They are just trying to catch people who claim they have supported parents from 1. January 2012 to 31. December 2012, but who only sent them the money later in the year, e.g. in December 2012, for details please see post 757 in this very thread.

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OK we filed back in May in Saarbrucken, but we haven't heard anything. This isn't normal for us- in year one they asked for more info several weeks later and in year 2 just sent us the letter and refund in August. This is the latest its been- anyone else waiting?

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Yep. Filed in Saarbruecken. Still waiting for a response. Also the longest it's taken.

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Thanks captious, apparently there was an article in the Saarbruecker Zeitung about how the cuts at the Finanzamt were causing huge delays.

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I'm slightly concerned about the four week period allowed for appeals: how do I know whether the Finanzamt a) hasn't processed my Steuererklärung yet, or B) has processed it, but their letter never arrived? Am I really expected to keep calling them?

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Am I really expected to keep calling them?

 

Did you submit semi-electronically and give your e-mail adress during the submission process?

If yes, then you will get an e-mail for sure the day that they print your Bescheid.

If not, then I'm afraid you have to keep calling.

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Did you submit semi-electronically and give your e-mail adress during the submission process?

If yes, then you will get an e-mail for sure the day that they print your Bescheid.

If not, then I'm afraid you have to keep calling.

 

Sadly I did not, but thanks for the advice, I'll give them a call.

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