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Freelancer tax return wasn't done on time

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Hi,

I've just received a letter from Finanzamt. It's an estimate Bescheid for 2010. They ask me to pay Euro 309 + Euro 20 for penalty. I spent only a half a year of 2010 in Germany and my income was that low that I don't owe them anything. I haven't submit my taxes on time because I thought I could do it in the next 7 years (I feel so stupid now!!!)

I need a help because my German is not that good. I've understood I could complain and send my taxes asap and everything should be ok. Do I still have to pay a penalty fee? Could somebody help me with writing the complain letter? Thanks a million!!!

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okay, I just came back from the finanzamt (kreuzberg).

 

They said the letter (above) was going to do no good since it didn't provide any proof that my steuer was going to be zero.

 

The lady said that I should just put in the tax return ASAP, as putting this in would correct them in thinking that I had made circa 10,000€. It's the only way.

 

She said that I might still have to pay the late fee (in my case 10€), but when it ends up that I don't have to pay any tax, they might waive this also.

 

She basically said don't panic, just put the Steuererklärung in within the next two weeks and it'll be fine.

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... tells them that you will submit your tax return within the next 4 weeks, plus it politely asks them to waive the penalty fee

 

 

The lady said that I should just put in the tax return ASAP, as putting this in would correct them in thinking that I had made circa 10,000€. It's the only way.

 

That's what the letter says.

You promise to submit the tax return.

 

If you do not submit that letter the Bescheid they sent you will become final in one month, and should they not have processed your tax return by then, they will automatically start collection proceedings against you.

You can't then say, oh, but the lady in that other department told me not to do an Einspruch and Antrag auf Aussetzung der Vollstreckung...

They won't care.

 

In Germany you do things by the rules or you suffer the consequences.

You are in the wrong anyway, since you should have submitted that tax return for 2010 by 31. May 2011.

 

As it is I have given you the only sure way out by keeping them occupied with your Einspruch so that you have enough time to submit your tax return before things get really nasty.

 

It could work without that letter if all goes smoothly and your tax return is processed before the one month from the issuing date of your Bescheid is up.

However, if there's a hiccup and they don't manage to process it within that time frame then please don't come here asking for solution, because there isn't one. You will then have to pay what they estimated and wait for them to process your return in order to get that money back.

 

By the way, the OP (kvochko, also in Berlin) corresponded with me by PM and he submitted this letter and then his tax return showing that he earned less than the tax free amount, and they accepted everything, issued a new Bescheid that he didn't have to pay any income tax and also waived the fine :)

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sorry Panda, I didn't mean to offend you. I really appreciate your help, I was just reporting back with what they told me.

 

the lady simply wouldn't accept the letter.

 

The letter really needs to be accompanied by the completed steuererkärlung, she would have accepted it then.

 

thanks again for your help, you're a superstar. :)

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the lady simply wouldn't accept the letter.

 

The letter really needs to be accompanied by the completed steuererkärlung, she would have accepted it then.

 

No offence taken :)

 

You shouldn't believe everything a clerk at the Finanzamt tells you...

She is obliged to receive everything you write her and has to respond in writing to all your letters. She has no choice about this.

 

It was in her interest to refuse the letter, she just didn't want the extra work of having to answer it ;)

But since that was the whole reason for writing that letter, i.e. to stop her and keep her busy, so that you have time to do that tax return, you really should have put your own interest before her interest.

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Just to close this off, at least in my case, they sent me a letter yesterday with the corrected tax bill (0€) and they also wiped the late fee. Win!

 

Thanks again Panda, you're amazing!

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My question is somewhat related. I need to make a tax estimate payment, but my accountant is taking forever to do the damn return. I need to make a payment since I haven't yet this year for many reasons other than my willingness to do so..

 

I have an idea of what I should and what I want to pay (in this case is more). How do I do it? Is there a form with some place I can transfer the money?

 

Thanks

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As long as you didn't get a letter from the Finanzamt, telling you to pre-pay income and solidarity tax, you don't do so.

 

That can either have been:

 

  • a separate letter that you got after they processed your "Fragebogen zur steuerlichen Erfassung" (you estimated your future income on page 5), i.e. the questionnaire in which you told them you want to become self-employed, and with which you asked for a tax number (= Steuernummer) to mention in all your invoices, or
  • if you have already received a Bescheid (= income tax return certificate that you get after your tax return has been processed), then in your last Bescheid, where it's written in a table.

 

What you need to look for is a payment schedule telling you how much Einkommensteuer and Solidaritätszuschlag to pre-pay on:

 

  • 10. März
  • 10. Juni
  • 10. September
  • 10. Dezember

These dates are set down in the German income tax law, article 37 (§37 EStG).

 

You transfer the pre-payments into your local Finanzamt's bank account, in your case Finanzamt München (they have several accounts at different banks, just choose whichever takes your fancy), stating as the reference your Steuernummer, the type of tax and for what period you are pre-paying, e.g.

 

  • 145/345/404595 ESt. II/2012

if "145/345/404595" is your Steuernummer, ESt. is Einkommensteuer (= income tax + Soli), and you are pre-paying the income&solidarity tax payment for the second period of 2012, due by 10. June 2012.

 

The numbering is I (= 10. March), then II (= 10. June), then III (= 10. September), then IV (= 10. December).

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I'm in the same boat. The Finanzamp just took 570€ out of my bank account, it was like WTF :angry: than today a 2 weeks later I get a letter saying it was ZwangsG and that's it. Bit of googling it looks like it's a late filing penalty. I'm freelance and I sent my Steuerbreater my tax forms spring 2108 and he still hasn't filed my taxes. I'm assuming she never filed for an extension. So assuming that's correct is there any possibility of getting that back and if not can I make my her to pay the penalty. Thanks!

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We are talking about the tax return 2017?

That was due on 31. December 2018 since you have a Steuerberater, and if the Steuerberater had applied for an extension, on 28. February 2019.

 

However, something is wrong about this, before giving you a Zwangsgeld, the Finanzamt first just threatens to do so and gives you final deadline by which to submit the missing tax return. If you submit by that last deadline, you don't have to pay the Zwangsgeld.

 

So did you get such a letter and ignore it?

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9 hours ago, PandaMunich said:

 

 

However, something is wrong about this, before giving you a Zwangsgeld, the Finanzamt first just threatens to do so and gives you final deadline by which to submit the missing tax return. If you submit by that last deadline, you don't have to pay the Zwangsgeld.

 

 

Yeah just spoke with my steuerbreater and she said pretty much the same thing. Also they should have gotten the letter not me. I'll update when I hear back

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Update: She more or less admitted that they screwed up. The tax return wasn't filed on time and neither was the extension request on time. Unfortunately  Finanzamp took the money before sending the warning letter. I'm waiting for the boss to get back but I wrote him and basically said you screwed up you pay the bill. So we'll see what happens

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