Filing a tax return - help on how to file

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Eng-G my situation is very similar to yours, working until June other country, then from July working in Germany.

Only that I am single.

Could you post exactly after you complete what fields you had to complete and some info about what should be

completed, so that PandaMunich doesn't have to answer all my questions all over?

Also I am curious when did you receive your tax declaration for 2013 ?

 

You do not receive a tax declaration; you submit one to the Finanzamt.

There are multiple ways you ca do this: one is to join the Lohnsteuerhilfeverein, and they will submit it on your behalf. Some level of German is needed to make yourself understood when you talk to them cause they will need some details from you (i.e. when did you move where, salary both outside of Germany and in Germany, etc). Other options: talk to a Steuerberater (more expensive than the previous one, not really worth it for regular employees), or do it yourself. For details on the last one, see http://www.toytowngermany.com/wiki/Elster

 

 

And what is the term until I have to declare for 2013 ?

 

End of May 2014, and it's extendable under some circumstances.

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For the first eight months of 2013 (Jan-Aug)I was a working student. From October I am working full time as an employee. How would I file my taxes in such a situation? I tried importing both lohnsteuerbescheinigungs on ElsterFormular and when I used the returns calculator, the return amount was very less. I am guessing because the software is considering the first job as a regular job thereby concluding that I paid much less taxes than required resulting in the lesser overall return.

 

Could someone please guide me in this respect? Can I file taxes just for the regular job that I did from October?

 

There is no difference between a regular job and a student job, what made you you think otherwise?

The only job that you wouldn't declare in a tax return is a 400€ mini job, for which you wouldn't have received a Lohnsteuerbescheinigung anyway.

 

You have to declare both jobs in your tax return.

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OK, so I'm down to the last one, Anlage AV

 

Excuse me, but do you pay into a Riester contract?

If not, then you do not need this form, see here.

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Anlage AV

- line 19: brutto income from abroad on which public pension contribution was paid?

 

Yes.

Will change the wiki so that it says contributions.

 

 

- line 20: when would a "2" here be appropriate? (I've put a "1" on the 10th line so this is just curiosity)

 

If you were only eligible through your spouse, i.e. if only your spouse were an employee or Beamter/Beamtin.

 

 

- lines 21 to 24: I find the wording a bit unclear (yet I'm also at A2 in Deutsch so that's not such a big surprise I guess): is it asking about

 

a) who applied for and is receiving the Kindergeld?

b ) who applied for the Kinderzuschuss (the 150/300EUR a year one gets from the state for each kid) as part of the Riester contract?

 

cause in my case person a) != person b ) and I'm not sure what to put in here.

 

If you are a married couple that hasn't officially separated (officially separated = separation year before a divorce):

line 21: number of kids for which the mother gets the Kinderzulage (the default is that the mother gets it, and you that it is paid for each child that you as a family got Kindergeld for)

line 22: number of kids for which the mother agreed to transfer the Kinderzulage to the father

 

For all other people who received Kindergeld (i.e. unmarried, separated, divorced, widowed parents):

Line 23: if you are an unmarried, divorced, or widowed woman or an unmarried, separated, divorced, or widowed man and you received the Kindergeld for January 2013: number of kids for which you should get the Kinderzulage

Line 24: if you are a separated woman and you received Kindergeld for January 2013: number of kids for which you should get the Kinderzulage

 

Just to be clear, you either fill in section 1 (line 21 to 22) or section 2 (line 23 to 24), they are mutually exclusive.

Within each section, you normally only fill in one line, unless you have more than one kid and decided that one parent gets the Kinderzulage for kid A and the other parent for kid B.

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You do not receive a tax declaration; you submit one to the Finanzamt.

There are multiple ways you ca do this: one is to join the Lohnsteuerhilfeverein, and they will submit it on your behalf. Some level of German is needed to make yourself understood when you talk to them cause they will need some details from you (i.e. when did you move where, salary both outside of Germany and in Germany, etc). Other options: talk to a Steuerberater (more expensive than the previous one, not really worth it for regular employees), or do it yourself. For details on the last one, see http://www.toytowngermany.com/wiki/Elster

 

End of May 2014, and it's extendable under some circumstances.

 

Of course that I read the Elster wiki many times, it is of great help, but the complete process is not fully clear to me yet

 

So, I have to download the Elster software and make there the declarations until end of May.

 

My questions is, do you need to receive some special papers in order to be able to start this process? For example where do you get that eTIN?

 

You can do the electronic submission with Elster in two ways:

 

•completely electronically (for that you also have to apply for a digital signature "Zertifikat", so that you can "sign" the forms)

how can i get this?

•semi-electronically, you submit the forms electronically but you also have to print a summary of them on paper which you sign

and submit to your local Finanzamt either by snail mail or in person.

probably this is the most used option?

 

I am currently not in Germany, and I didn't get my salary payslip for December yet, but I have the payslips for the other months of Work in Germany.

Can I download Elster and apply for this or do I have to wait for some papers?

 

Everything will be done online or do I have to also send some documents by post?

How many tries do you have in the Elster software? Do you have to complete it perfectly firs time or can you try more than one time?

I don't know any German, so probably it is better for me to prepare the answers before so that I don't have nasty surprises when I complete in the Elster.

 

Also regarding my situation: single, prior work in other country what forms should I fill in:

-Mantelbogen ESt 1A (because I have income from other Country)

-Anlage N (for being an employee) ?

other form needed in my case?

 

Well thanks in advance for this, I hope to find someone that can do this for me remotely, but if not I will have to do it myself somehow.

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Yes.

Will change the wiki so that it says contributions.

 

If you were only eligible through your spouse, i.e. if only your spouse were an employee or Beamter/Beamtin.

 

If you are a married couple that hasn't officially separated (officially separated = separation year before a divorce):

line 21: number of kids for which the mother gets the Kinderzulage (the default is that the mother gets it, and you that it is paid for each child that you as a family got Kindergeld for)

line 22: number of kids for which the mother agreed to transfer the Kinderzulage to the father

 

For all other people who received Kindergeld (i.e. unmarried, separated, divorced, widowed parents):

Line 23: if you are an unmarried, divorced, or widowed woman or an unmarried, separated, divorced, or widowed man and you received the Kindergeld for January 2013: number of kids for which you should get the Kinderzulage

Line 24: if you are a separated woman and you received Kindergeld for January 2013: number of kids for which you should get the Kinderzulage

 

Just to be clear, you either fill in section 1 (line 21 to 22) or section 2 (line 23 to 24), they are mutually exclusive.

Within each section, you normally only fill in one line, unless you have more than one kid and decided that one parent gets the Kinderzulage for kid A and the other parent for kid B.

 

Splendid as usual. Much appreciated!

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Are you an employee?

If yes, please consult a Lohnsteuerhilfeverein, at least for the year you moved here, it will not cost much and they will do the whole tax return for you, and you will then have certainty that you claimed for everything possible.

 

Yes, the calculation is correct if you moved here between January and July 2013, to take up a job.

Only job-related moves are tax deductible...

 

Yes, I indeed moved to take up a job. Thanks a lot Panda!

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This question is one straight from the 'you're a total dolt' category, but anyway...

 

I haven't filed of late because my tax situation is so simple. I will need to file this year because of some extra income in 2013. While sorting out all my paperwork, I realised that I'd completely overlooked some hefty possible deductions from past years - namely, assorted PhD fees. I paid them out of a non-German account, so I didn't have the documentation in the same place, and then I just forgot. (This is deeply ironic considering how paranoid I usually am about keeping track of my money, but oh well.)

 

Since the year/s in question are (just) within the four years I understand the Finanzamt will accept without the need to quote court decisions at them, how do I proceed? I've downloaded Elster 2010-13, and the form-filling part seems easy enough. Can I really just print and sign the forms, put them in an envelope with the relevant receipts, and add an apologetic cover letter saying 'Hier finden Sie meine Steuererklärungen für die Jahre 20XX, 20XY und 20XZ'? Seems too good to be true.

 

Oh, and a second question: when considering Werbungskosten, can the postage for work-related books also be deducted, or just the books themselves? (In the humanities, so this sort of thing can make a difference.)

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No need for an apologetic note, it's their duty after all.

 

Yes, you can also deduct postage, your car costs/bus to get to/from the post office, the envelopes you bought to send library books back in, and so on.

There is no limit, so start thinking of all your costs and use them :-)

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Thanks, PandaMunich! Clearly my pedestrian/cycling ways are a problem when it comes to tax time ;). As is living too close to the office.

 

For situations where, say, five out of six books ordered were for work and the sixth for fun, do I deduct five-sixths of the postage?

And is there a clear distinction between Fort- and Weiterbildung somewhere? (Since my research and teaching interests don't always overlap, I suspect I may need to list certain conferences etc separately.)

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No, as long as we aren't talking about a first uni degree (which we aren't with a PhD) which would be limited maximum 6,000€ costs per year, you can have as many costs as you like.

They will start complaining if your interests cannot be interpreted to generate some taxable income in the future, but with teaching you will be safe.

And you are always allowed to further your knowledge in your own profession.

 

Yes, you can split up the postage.

Regarding postage, sometimes sourcing books right here in Europe is cheaper, and no postage involved.

I use Bookbutler to compare prices, and most times the Bookdepository in the UK (but with worldwide free postage) is the cheapest.

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When submitting tax return through ELSTER online, do I need to send Finanzamt something in printed form, such as signed forms or additional documents? Furthermore, how can I send them additional documents as proof electronically?

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If you file semi-electronically, you get a summary that you have to print out, sign and send/bring to your Finanzamt. You can also submit your invoices then (don't forget to make a copy of everything first!).

 

Although officially you don't have to submit supporting documentation if you file electronically, they will end up asking for it, so it's easier to just attach it right away.

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Great post and great WIKI! I got a lot of help for my last year's tax return.

This year, however, I have a more complicated case. I received a lump sum of around 500 USD as the early distribution of my retirement plan in US. I contributed in this plan several years ago when I was working in US. I am not a US citizen and I do not hold a green card either. The managing company already withheld Federal tax for US for the distribution. Do I also need to pay tax to Germany as well? How should I report this in my tax return?

Thanks again for the help!!

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Hi,

 

Quick question: If my child lives with my divorced spouse outside the EU (I don't receive Kindergeld), do I still fill in an Anlage Kind?

 

And if yes, then there are some fields which I'm not sure how to fill to avoid highlighted errors in ElsterFormular like: "Anspruch auf Kindergeld oder vergleichbare Leistungen für 2013" and "zuständige Familienkasse" along with Inland Addresse since my child hasn't lived in Germany with me during 2013.

 

By the way, I transfer monthly alimony payments and child support, along with school fees. I've already filled Anlage Unterhalt for that. So I assume that if I should fill an Anlage Kind then I should separate for example the school fees and list them in the Anlage Kind.

 

Thanks in advance for your help.

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This year, however, I have a more complicated case. I received a lump sum of around 500 USD as the early distribution of my retirement plan in US. I contributed in this plan several years ago when I was working in US. I am not a US citizen and I do not hold a green card either. The managing company already withheld Federal tax for US for the distribution. Do I also need to pay tax to Germany as well? How should I report this in my tax return?

 

It sounds like capital income to me.

In that case, declare it in Anlage KAP, instructions in post 1196 in this very thread.

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Quick question: If my child lives with my divorced spouse outside the EU (I don't receive Kindergeld), do I still fill in an Anlage Kind?

 

And if yes, then there are some fields which I'm not sure how to fill to avoid highlighted errors in ElsterFormular like: "Anspruch auf Kindergeld oder vergleichbare Leistungen für 2013" and "zuständige Familienkasse" along with Inland Addresse since my child hasn't lived in Germany with me during 2013.

 

By the way, I transfer monthly alimony payments and child support, along with school fees. I've already filled Anlage Unterhalt for that. So I assume that if I should fill an Anlage Kind then I should separate for example the school fees and list them in the Anlage Kind.

 

Yes, you can fill into Anlage Unterhalt the alimony that you pay to your divorced wife.

However, you never get to claim for child support that you pay.

 

Regarding the school fees, it may be that they will not be considered since your child lives outside the EU.

I suggest you try to claim for them anyway, by filling in Anlage Kind:

line 6: fill in 0 for the "Anspruch auf Kindergeld oder vergleichbare Leistungen für 2013".

Leave line 7 "Zuständige Familienkasse" empty.

Fill into line 8, to the right of "Wohnort im Ausland": 1.1.2013 - 31.12.2013

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