Filing taxes without spouse’s knowledge

13 posts in this topic

This happened a while ago when I was going through paperwork. I separated in early (February) 2017 and the divorce was in the middle of 2019. 

 

I filed my own taxes for 2017, so that’s done, and the following years are up to date. 

 

Ex husband took a lot of paperwork. Then a few months later he packed up more things. 

 

He filed (I was tax class 5 and he was 3; he made a lot more money when he lived here) without my knowledge for 2016 before he moved back to his home country in late 2017. I remember he did the taxes in January 2017, and I stupidly thought that was for the 2016 taxes, but it was for 2015. My Lohnsteuerbescheinigung (I hope I have the right word here) was dated January 2017 for the year of 2016. I strongly believe he took it with him in February and then placed it back the few months after when he picked up the rest of his stuff. 

 

I thought I had the Steuerbescheid for 2016 because I saw my Lohnsteuerbescheinigung, but that was it—no Steuerbescheid for 2016.

 

Anyway, what are the rules for this situation? Is it possible to redo the taxes because I think I would get money back. 

 

Thanks for reading!

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I believe it‘s too late for the 2016 tax return, I think the absolute latest you could submit something for 2016 was at the end of 2020.

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4 hours ago, martinamr said:

I believe it‘s too late for the 2016 tax return, I think the absolute latest you could submit something for 2016 was at the end of 2020.

 

Yeah, I heard that. But it is looking like he did it behind my back, i.e. he signed for me without my knowledge. We usually use an accountant and I called the accountant and they didn’t file for us that year. The information was missing. My divorce lawyer suggested a consultation about this, but I’m not sure it is worth it. 

 

From the few emails I have from him, he was panicked about owing money or something and asked for my Lohnsteuerbescheinigung (I refused to give it to him). But the date of the email doesn’t match up because he had previously filed three months before. I have no idea how he was able to fill it out, but I think he got the info from his lawyer from the maintenance that had been established at that point in the separation. 

 

He said he gave the tax return to my lawyer and I asked my lawyer and they had no record of it, and that’s when she suggested I go in for a consultation. I’m not sure what I can do about this. I am not sure he was even allowed to sign for me since it was after the separation date and he didn’t use an accountant. I think he did them by himself. I asked for the forms he filled out so I can see my signature and he gave no response. In addition, he left and refused contact after he left and spoke only through lawyers. There was no talk about the 2016 tax return. 

 

I’m not sure what to do. I don’t want to have to pay thousands in fines to the Finanzamt because of this. He’s also out of the country in a non-EU country, so I’m not sure if it is worth seeing a lawyer about it. The whole divorce left me in severe financial hardship, and I believe he did something off. I had the right to file my own tax return at that point since we separated in early 2017. The tax return was done in in the May-August of 2017. 

 

Any suggestions? 

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Just wondering if anyone has any idea if I should get a lawyer or not for this? I consider filing all this stuff behind my back and forging my signature not good. Especially when he benefitted from it and if I could have filed separately, I probably would have gotten money back. 

 

I’d post this in legal, but I am not really sure where this belongs. 

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I know nothing but it sounds to me like you should definitely get a lawyer. On the other hand, a good Steuerberater/in may be able to figure it out.

 

Best of luck.

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20 minutes ago, fraufruit said:

I know nothing but it sounds to me like you should definitely get a lawyer. On the other hand, a good Steuerberater/in may be able to figure it out.

 

Best of luck.

 

Yeah, it’s looking like I’m going to go to a lawyer. A lot of things are not adding up, literally and figuratively. I don’t want to post details, but my main concern was that he isn’t in Germany, but I was told that doesn’t matter. 

 

A Steuerberater can’t help. I was told to see a lawyer because it goes beyond taxes now. If you want more details, you can always DM. 

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Is there such a thing as a certificate of tax clearance here? In Ireland I can request a certificate from the tax office that states whether or not I owe them any money. If that's what this is about (rather than wanting to recoup some money) then perhaps this would be an easier route? I strongly suspect that a lawyer will cost more than you stand to gain here.

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As a first step I´d ask the Finanzamt to show me the tax filing to check whether he really falsified my signature.

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I believe it was done electronically. I checked with the accountant we used and they did not do that year for some reason. They did years 2010-2015 and then he went back to them for 2017. 

 

I have run the taxes through one of those online things, and I would have gained a nice chunk of money. 

 

I was on tax class 5 and he was on 3. He used my tax credits to avoid paying more when I had the option of filing on my own and not with him. I was taxed on much more than what I earned of which was his. Meanwhile, I was on unemployment (two year contract had just ended—university—there is a strict limit about getting another one for three years, so I knew I was going to freelance English teach after that point). I’m still recovering from this. 

 

I am 100% sure that I did not sign anything because at that point there was no speaking (he threatened to get a no-contact order because I contacted him about…paperwork. 

 

Quote

As a first step I´d ask the Finanzamt to show me the tax filing to check whether he really falsified my signature.

 

I called and the person that handles this wasn’t there, so I have to call back. I have a Kopie of a Kopie of the Bescheid and I asked many times for all the forms (all the other taxes come with the forms filled out for your records) and my ex will not respond. 

 

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17 hours ago, klingklang77 said:

I called and the person that handles this wasn’t there, so I have to call back

I´d rather inform them in writing that you never filed or authorized someone else to file on your behalf.

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5 hours ago, jeba said:

I´d rather inform them in writing that you never filed or authorized someone else to file on your behalf.

 

Ah, yes, good idea! Do you think I can do this by email as well? 

 

Instead of saying it outright, should I just ask for a copy of my authorization first? What if there was some legal way he could have filed without my knowledge? The accountant said he did not do 2016’s tax return, so I have no idea if maybe there is some loophole that says the ex could have authorized it?

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9 minutes ago, klingklang77 said:

Ah, yes, good idea! Do you think I can do this by email as well? 

The answer to be on the safe side would be: do it via the elster portal.  Otherwise "probably yes". If you did it by regular email I´d recommend you follow up by phone to make sure your case worker received it.

 

11 minutes ago, klingklang77 said:

Instead of saying it outright, should I just ask for a copy of my authorization first?

That´s what I´d do.

 

12 minutes ago, klingklang77 said:

What if there was some legal way he could have filed without my knowledge?

Probably not, unless you gave him some sort of power of attorney.

Note, that I´m not an accountant nor a lawyer, so what I´m saying here is just based on my general knowledge of German bureaucracy and my dealings with the Finanzamt.

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