Consequence of not paying German taxes

33 posts in this topic

Now that the new year is here, it's time to think about taxes again. And I'm wondering what the implications of not filing could be.

 

I had lived in Germany for the last several years, but just moved away at the end of 2014, and have no plans to return back to Germany. I know I am eligible to pay for my earnings there for part of last year, but how serious is it if I simply ignored it? Mostly it's just out of laziness – having to deal with my accountant and the Finanzamt and transfer money internationally... I've pre-paid most of what I should probably owe for the year, but they seem to always want more, so maybe there is more. Not sure.

 

Anyone know just how bad of an idea this is, or on the contrary if maybe it doesn't matter too much either way?

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Oh and believe me i worked in the Münich airport for 2 years.They get a lot of poeple that are just flying in transit.The German system is like their cars very very efficient

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Thanks for the replies... That's actually quite scary! Guess I should just bite the bullet and call my tax lady to take care of it all. Better than the alternative it seems.

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I was told (perhaps wrongly) that filing a tax return is optional. At first this sounds great, not having to file a tax return. But then I bought WISO steuer:Start and plugged in my numbers. I see that I should get about 1300!! Now I want to go back and file for previous years and get that money back as well.

 

How far back can I go and file back tax returns?? How many years can I go back?

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It was 7 years, but the highest financial court (Bundesfinanzhof) has rolled it back to the last 4 years.

 

Since we now have 2015, you are allowed to submit the tax returns for:

 



  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011

 

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From the previous threads, i thought one can submit the tax declaration for 7 years. and I thought of doing a 2008 tax declaration in this year. Is it not possible any more? I am normal salaried and normally get some money back after submitting declaration.

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Funny this thread popping up at this moment.

Sorted all my stuff out to file for this year and remembered I didn't file for last year either so was going to do them both.

Also noticed I didn't file for 2006 either or 2011.Can I file either of them now,do I have to file any of them.Can I file nothing this year and do 11,13,14,15 next year?

I'm a normal salaried employee.

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You will have to do 2011 this year.

2006 would've been too long ago even under the previous - more generous - 7 year ruling, let alone under the present "last 4 years" rule.

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If you're a PAYE employee, does not filing just mean you don't get the refund you were entitled to?

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As long as you're a pay-as-you-earn employee who does not have to submit a tax return, then yes.

 

However, there are also employees who have to submit a tax return, e.g. if a couple has the tax class combo III/V and the spouse in tax class V also earns.

In that case you look at some serious late fees if you do not submit on time.

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I realize this is an old topic, but hopefully someone here can help me anyway.

I worked in Germany, but left back to the US in 2013. My mother was still in Germany until this year. She just arrived back in the US, and found some mail packed up that I recieved to her house in Germany in 2014, that she forgot about and never gave to me. This letter states that I owe about €1000 from the previous year with a demand for payment no later than December 2014. I am assuming it must be for taxes, as I can not think of anything else it could be, because I did not file my taxes before I left in 2013 because I only worked a few months that year. The demand for payment date was 3 years ago already. I am wondering if this is now already forgotten, as the german statute of limitations for debt is 3 years, or if I will still be held liable even past 3 years, because the money is owed to the state? Would that make a difference in the statute of limitations? I do not want to have any problems in Germany, but if this debt is already forgotten as 3 years has passed, then I will be glad to not have to pay.

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5 hours ago, Lara Adams said:

as the german statute of limitations for debt is 3 years, or if I will still be held liable even past 3 years, because the money is owed to the state?

 

For tax debt, the statute of limitations (= Zahlungsverjährung) is 5 years, see §228 AO: https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/englisch_ao/englisch_ao.html#p1584

However, that statute of limitations only applies if the Finanzamt never follows up on that demand for payment, i.e. if your case slipped through the cracks and they never got an executable court title against you, which is very unlikely.

 

Could you post a photo of that demand? 

Black out your name and private details.

 

Uploading it here will be a problem, since there's a 0.24MB size limit, I suggest you upload the pages to Tinypic instead, and then post the link to them here.

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Hi,
I didn't file tax returns for 2016. I moved to another city but finanzamt has my old address. They sent me notice to file tax returns couple of times but I didn't get that notice. Finally in december 2017, I got to know that I have to pay 210 Euro fine for not filing tax returns. I paid 210 Euros as I was traveling and couldn't talk to finanzamt. In 2016 I was regular employee.
Question is should I file tax declaration even after paying penalty?
Is there any way to get penalty back?
My understanding was that we can file tax declaration for last 4 years, if so then why finanzamt penalized me for last year tax returns?

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Was it your first time in Germany? Did you change jobs in 2016? These are situations when the tax return is not voluntary, but obligatory.  The 4-year term is for situations when you are not obliged to file.

 

17 minutes ago, W.A.Shahani said:

Is there any way to get penalty back?

File the tax return. It is possible you will get more money back than 210 euro.

 

My Finanzamt is very understanding, when I do not have time to provide necessary documentation (or the tax return itself) I just ask for the deadline extension, and they always grant it. What German bureaucrats do not like is when you ignore them. It works the same as with ladies: a bit of attention, and a venomous snake will become a fluffy cat. Call them, talk to them.

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Thanks yourkeau. No it wasn't my first time in Germany and I didn't change job in 2016. I will file tax returns and see how it goes. Though I still dont understand why I finanzamt is still using my old postal address when I have changed the city. As per my understanding I should be getting these notices from my current city finanzamt at my current address.

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Were you maybe tax class III and your wife worked?

Or did you have any additional income, e.g. non-German interest income?

Those are also reasons for a mandatory tax return.

 

Or did you move to Germany in 2015 and file a tax return in 2015?

Because in that case some Finanzämter don't understand that moving to Germany is a one-off event that doesn't get repeated the next year and erroneously send out these reminders.

 

Could you post a photo of that 210€ fine? If you can't get it it below 0.24MB, just upload it to TinyPic.com and either post the link to it here or send it to me by private message.

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Panda, how on Earth do you have such immense knowledge on tax things?

You just keep mindblowing us

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On 22.1.2018, 21:50:41, PandaMunich said:

It's my hobby, and we Germans take our hobbies seriously ;)

 

Hi Panda,

 

I need a good tax accountant to help me file for both 2016 and 2017. Do you have any advice about one? Or maybe I should join a Verein? I tend to stay away from Vereins for now, because my language skills are limited, and I tend to find few English-speaking members in these groups.

 

My tax situation: I worked part of the year in 2016 in northern Germany (and the rest in the US), and I worked part of the year in Munich in 2017 (I came back from the US and started a permanent job). I'm in Munich permanently (hopefully!). In 2016 I was a student researcher, so my world-wide wages were rather low, and taxes were taken out regularly by my employer.

 

If there was any letter send to my old address about obligatory taxes, I certainly never heard about it/never got it. My roommate also moved, so there's a possibility that there was once a letter. Is there any way to see this online? 

 

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