Most advised tax return software for employees

8 posts in this topic

I've been in Germany for 3 years now, and worked with a tax advisor for the tax filing of first and second years. This time i want to do it myself due to the reason that,

 

  • I don't have much to claim from 2019, so it won't be complex,
  • I want to learn the process a bit as one of the last remaining part of my integration.

 

I am a full time salaried employee with a family, read the information about tax claims shared here, went through these articles --> 1, 2, 3, 4, and now in search of the most user friendly, and time efficient tax preparation software.

 

I would kindly like to ask your experiences and recommendations on various softwares available in the market.

 

Thanks a lot in advance.

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Hi TurMech,

 

I have been in Germany since 2016 and have filed my taxes every year via Elster. It is a free online tax filing system maintained by the German government. All the forms are available there and most of the calculations (even between forms) are handled automatically.

 

I made some mistakes the first two years and the local Finanzamt always corrected them in my favor (but plan on the Finanzamt taking a close look at whatever you submit and possibly requesting proof).

 

If you have simple taxes and can read some German (and have copies of previous years' returns), it should be easy.

 

Best regards,

Garbo

 

PS: I should also mention that it takes a couple of weeks to sign up because they have to mail you a letter with a password. But otherwise the software is extremely straight and well-done.

 

 

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Hi @garbo,

 

Thank you for sharing your experience.

 

I was made aware about the free Elster software of Government before, but every article i read about the topic mentions that, it is relatively complex, and time consuming to file taxes through Elster. And some of my colleagues shared similar information to yours above, related with Finanzamt coming back to you with questions, when the filing is made with Elster. 

 

On the other side, they say that, when they use one of these commercial softwares, it takes about half an hour to an hour to carry out the tax filing, and Finanzamt almost never comes back. So, i thought it would be a well invested 20-30 € to avoid some headache and gain time.

 

On 20.3.2020, 16:03:16, garbo said:

PS: I should also mention that it takes a couple of weeks to sign up because they have to mail you a letter with a password. But otherwise the software is extremely straight and well-done.

 

If you have got the onlineausweisfunktion activated, i believe this waiting is not necessary.

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I highly recommend WISO Steuer Office (made by Bühl).

 

I have used it for more than 20 years and am constantly amazed at its comprehensiveness.

 

It is, however, only in German and it will take some practice getting used to it.  (That is no less true for the free services of ELSTER.)

 

Considering its capabilities and scope it is preposterously cheap.

 

You can buy it online or in virtually any bookstore.

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13 hours ago, Straightpoop said:

I highly recommend WISO Steuer Office (made by Bühl).

 

Same here!

For the first 2 years I used a tax consultant, then for the next 2 I did it by myself with WISO and then after that I went back to tax consultant as now I don't want to be bothered with the amount of work, as I always had to interact a lot with Finanzamt.

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On 28.3.2020, 10:56:46, Straightpoop said:

I highly recommend WISO Steuer Office (made by Bühl).

 

Any specific reason to use WISO Steuer Office version?

 

This company (Buhl) seems to have various products for different needs, although the difference between each of them is not yet clear to me. --> Link

 

There seems to be also one option to use a web version through the browser, eliminating the need to order a CD. --> Link

 

The impression i am getting is that, the trend is towards using these Web versions as other companies are also offering Web versions. Is that right?

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@TurMech

 

Other than inertia I have no particular reason to recommend the "Steuer Office" over the other versions.

 

I started with this version years ago because it did everything I needed it to do cheaply.  I never used most of the many bells and whistles - especially the video assistant - and, until I followed the link you provided, had not even examined the possibility that a still cheaper version might fulfill my needs.

 

Quite frankly, the difference between €40 and €29 is not enough to persuade me to investigate the difference in capabilities between the versions.  I'll do as I do every November when I get the renewal notice:  point and click "ja".

 

 

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Thank you. I ended up using Steuerbot. It is free, and suitable for not complicated cases (not for freelancers).

The interface is user friendly. You are chatting with a Bot, and answering its' questions, and at the end digitally signing the document, and sending it to the Finanzamt with a click.

 

https://www.steuerbot.com/

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