Tax refund in Germany

Tax refund - how to get a (significant) part of paid taxes back

1.007€ yearly an average taxpayer gets back from the tax office in Germany. It's your money. Get it back.

taxt refund, tax return, steuererstattung Screenshot 1. (Source: author's archive)

Three main types of repeating expenditures are:

#1 - Money you send abroad to your family, child(ren), (grand)parents;
#2 - Money you invest in your health (e.g. if you want to have new expensive dental care);
#3 - Savings for your "personal additional pension".

Certainly you have other expenses as well. You can also include them but they don't bring back much. The types #1, #2 and #3 (s. above) are, on the contrary, the most rewarding.

Taxes are always deducted at a single amount. So you can declare not only your income but also your expenses to the state. This tax return makes it possible to clearly show the amount of your expenses to do. So the German state (represented by the tax office) pay back a significant part of your expenses to you.

The good news is that you can tax all substantial expenses. Some big expenses will bring you back a great amount of money. Legally. This amount could be calculated for you by your accountant or bookkeeper. Remember the magic keyword: Steuererstattung.

Steuererstattung (Tax refund) - how does it work?

Step 1: Photograph your income tax card from the previous year and/or this year;

Step 2: Send this photo to a tax consultant of your trust*

Step 3: In the enclosed text ask two questions:
Question 1:How much money could I get back?
Question 2:How much would be your (tax advisor's) charge?

Step 4: Follow the Instructions by your tax advisor.

The time frame for tax refunds

Remember that you can get the money back from the taxes of the previous year and additionally from 3 last years. A tax consultant or an accountant will explain all these things to you.

If you doubt the statement of your tax consultant* or if you don't know any tax consultant, write to me. I will forward your request to my accountant. You will receive a non-binding offer with details of the sum of your tax refund and the tax consultant's fee.

* - I would like to give you a warning: not all tax consultants are honest in their statements about the amount of your tax refund. Why? Because their fees are often not calculated hourly, but according to other criteria. More about this in the article How to find a good tax consultant in Germany

13.01.20 ©️ Jaroslav Plotnikov ( All articles )
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