Using Elsterformular for tax returns

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Hi,

 

I am considering submitting a tax return by using Elsterformular online tax return. Has anyone used this before and how accurate is this tax program? Are the forms automatically submitted to the tax department? I have downloaded the software, which is the correct form? The choices are under SteuererKlarungen 2007 1) einkommensteuer 2) umsatzsteuer 3) gewerbesteuer 4) zerlegung gewst-? Many thanks

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You probably want to do your income tax return, so you should choose einkommensteuer. Then depending on your sources of income and other circumstances, you have to fill out the Hauptvordruck and maybe some other of the forms that are listed there. The forms are submitted when you press "Steuererklärung an das Finanzamt übermitteln". But you really should read the manual and understand what you are doing before you do that. If you dont speak german, you probably need someone to help you.

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how accurate is this tax program?

It's not a tax program. It's simply a data entry program for submitting your tax return. It's as accurate as the data you provide it with. How you generate or calculate the data is a different matter.

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You have to provide the Finanzamt with a printed version of the return that you sent them online along with any necessary documentation (health care receipts, receipts for professional education, donations etc.).

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Possibly stupid question about the Elsterformular software: If I used it last year to do my 2010 taxes, is there any way to get it to propagate basic information like names, tax numbers, addresses, etc. to the 2011 forms? Or do I have to enter everything manually from scratch?

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Whoops, posted too soon. I found it myself. The option is in the "Datei" men: Datenübernahme aus dem Vorjahr

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There is a function "Datenübernahme aus dem Vorjahr", so I guess the answer is "Yes".

 

EDIT: in my version the shortcut is Ctrl-Shift-J, then choose the .elfo file

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I tried to submit my return and a window opened with the title Bescheiddatenabholung. It asks for a Mandatennummer. I don't understand what this number is. Is it something I should have received or something I make up, like a password? Anyone know?

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@PandaMunich

Are there separate forms for "beschränkt steuerpflichtige" people who are not residing in Germany? I was given conflicting info from the Finanzamt and the Elsterhotline in that regard. If there are separate forms, where can I donwload them? Thanks in anticipation.

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All forms are the same, i.e. you just use the normal Anlagen - only the main form, the Mantelbogen (= Hauptformular), is different.

As a "beschränkt Steuerpflichtiger" you have to use Mantelbogen ESt1C instead of Mantelbogen ESt1A.

 

You can find all the forms here: http://www.finanzamt.bayern.de/Informationen/Formulare/Steuererklaerung/Einkommensteuer/2016/default.php

The link for the 2017 forms will probably be (the link will work from 1. January 2018): http://www.finanzamt.bayern.de/Informationen/Formulare/Steuererklaerung/Einkommensteuer/2017/default.php

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On 5.8.2017, 22:37:05, PandaMunich said:

All forms are the same, i.e. you just use the normal Anlagen - only the main form, the Mantelbogen (= Hauptformular), is different.

As a "beschränkt Steuerpflichtiger" you have to use Mantelbogen ESt1C instead of Mantelbogen ESt1A.

 

You can find all the forms here: http://www.finanzamt.bayern.de/Informationen/Formulare/Steuererklaerung/Einkommensteuer/2016/default.php

The link for the 2017 forms will probably be (the link will work from 1. January 2018): http://www.finanzamt.bayern.de/Informationen/Formulare/Steuererklaerung/Einkommensteuer/2017/default.php

Thanks a lot. You´re more knowledgeable than the case worker for non residents at the Finanzamt who told me to simply use the forms for "erweitert beschränkt Steuerpflichtige" (whatever that may be)  from 2010 (since according to her there was no newer form). I have to give her credit though for that she allowed me to file on paper even though I still own a photovoltaic facility and am therefore regarded a businessowner (when I was still a resident a different case worker was in charge who told me to either file online or use an accountant).

 

Can I as "beschränkt Steuerpflichtiger" claim for deductions for contributions to my private (German) life insurance and for insurance premiums I was paying for/on behalf of my children who are still residing in Germany and who are still entitled to maintenance from me? Same question for the "Hinterbliebenfreibetrag" .

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Sorry, but no.

If you look into the section of the law dealing with "beschränkt Besteuerte", you will see in §50 Absatz 1 Satz 3 EStG:

" 3§ 10 Absatz 1, 1a Nummer 1, 3 und 4, Absatz 2 bis 6, die §§ 10a, 10c, 16 Absatz 4, die §§ 24b, 32, 32a Absatz 6, die §§ 33, 33a, 33b und 35a sind nicht anzuwenden.  "

 

So let's split this up, to see what you as a "beschränkt Steuerpflichtiger" are not allowed to claim for:

  • §10 Absatz 1 EStG: Nr. 3a in there is about your pre-2005 life insurance, which is supposed to provide you with income for your old age. The rest is about: health insurance, Kirchensteuer, child care, your own education and school fees, all not deductible.
  • §10 Absatz 1a Nr. 1, 3, 4 EStG: alimony for a former spouse
  • §10 Absatz 2 bis 6 EStG: these are just rules how to apply Absatz 1
  • §10a EStG --> §82 EStG: Riester-Rente contributions
  • §10c EStG: Sonderausgaben-Pauschbetrag of 36€
  • §16 Absatz 4 EStG: tax-free amount if you sell/give up your business at age 55 or above
  • §24b EStG: tax-free amount if you're a single parent
  • §32 EStG: tax-free amount if you have children
  • §32a Absatz 6 EStG: certain privileges in the year that you got widowed/divorced
  • §33 EStG: außergewöhnliche Belastungen, e.g. very high medical costs
  • §33a EStG: support paid to needy parents/children/spouse
  • §33b EStG: tax-free amounts for disabled, widowers/widows/orphans (yup, that's your Hinterbliebenenfreibetrag, sorry) and for people who nurse somebody
  • §35a EStG: getting back 20% of the labour costs of household helps and of handymen who work in your home 

It also says in §50 Absatz 1 Satz 2 EStG that the Grundfreibetrag in §32a EStG = general tax-free amount (in 2017: 8,820€) will not be applied to you. This means that you will be paying income tax from the first € of your German income. 
The only exception would be if you had had German employee income that year, then you would get the Grundfreibetrag.

 

*******************************************************

 

If 90% of your worldwide income stems from Germany, and the income that's not from Germany is not more than the Grundfreibetrag  (in 2016: 8,652€, in 2017: 8,820€), then §1 Absatz 3 EStG allows you to apply to be treated as "unbeschränkt steuerpflichtig", i.e. to get unlimited tax liability in Germany, i.e. be treated tax-wise as if you were still resident in Germany.

You would then get all the deductions back that you're used to, but on the down side would have to tax your worldwide income in Germany.

 

 

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On 7.8.2017, 09:08:26, PandaMunich said:

Sorry, but no.

That´s bad but not surprising. Thanks anyway. Would the fact that I´m still co-owner (together with my children) of a property make it possible to at least claim for deduction of the cost of insurance for that property and for homeowner´s liability insurance (I guess not)?

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Of course you can claim for those, even if you were the only owner.

These are costs directly associated with a source of income for which Germany has the taxation rights, rental income, so §50 Absatz 1 Satz 1 EStG allows you to claim for them:

 (1) 1Beschränkt Steuerpflichtige dürfen Betriebsausgaben (§ 4 Absatz 4 bis 8) oder Werbungskosten (§ 9) nur insoweit abziehen, als sie mit inländischen Einkünften in wirtschaftlichem Zusammenhang stehen.  

 

They will appear as Werbungskosten on page 2 of the Anlage V, and will lower your rental profit. 

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Reviving a dormant topic here. As a freelance English trainer, I've been making extensive use of Zoom in the last year. Do any of the tax experts out there in TT know how I should declare the licence fee in Elster's EÜR? Telekommunikation (line 49)? Gebühren (line 55)? Any advice greatly appreciated.

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