There´s one well-known date for filing your taxes in Germany: May 31st. For decades, tax payers had to keep in mind this date, as May 31st used to be the last day for many citizens to submit their tax return (declaration) in time.
New deadline for filing your taxes
This deadline belongs to the past since last year. Nowadays, tax payers get an additional two months: The legislator postponed the deadline to file the annual tax declaration from May 31st to July 31st. However, don´t wait until summer, as submitting your tax return as early as possible has some advantages. The sooner the tax office can start to process your tax declaration, the sooner you will receive your tax notice – and a nice refund, if things go your way. As many tax payers defer doing their tax declaration until July with the new deadline, tax offices have to handle increased workload in summer. As a result, you have to wait longer for your tax return to be processed.
The federal and state tax authorities determined March 15th of this year as the official start date for processing tax returns for the year 2019. Some federal states like Baden-Württemberg only start in April. Due to Corona-related measures, the process may additionally be slowed down to some extent. In short: Tax offices are already processing tax declarations for 2019. The best way to make sure your declaration is attended to swiftly, is to file it as soon as possible. Our Software will calculate an estimate of your expected tax refund for you.
For those hiring a tax consultant to do their tax return for 2019, the tax office extends the deadline to February 2021. This is the upside to two considerable downsides: Tax consultants are expensive – unlike our tool. What is more, the longer you wait to file your tax return, the longer you will have to wait for your tax refund.
The new deadline applies to the following tax payers
The July deadline applies to those citizens, that have to submit a mandatory tax declaration. Those who have an auxiliary income of more than 410 Euros, income from rent and lease or who work in more than one job, are obliged to file a tax return. The same goes for self-employed professionals and married couples who put to account a splitting of income. All of the above have to meet the deadline in July. Finally, those who receive payments replacing wages, like maternity pay, parental allowance, unemployment benefits, insolvency payments or short-time compensation have to file their tax declaration by this deadline. If you are not sure whether or not you have to file a mandatory tax declaration, the safest option is to file before the end of July anyway.
Tax payers who miss the deadline, can be subjected to a late filing penalty. Per month in delay, 0.25 percent of the tax burden is added on top. The minimum additional payment will be 25 Euro per month. Further, estimates of the tax burden - conducted by the tax office in the meantime - might overstate the payment required by the taxpayer due to the missing data.
Deadlines to file a tax declaration
|Your tax declaration…||…has to be submitted by (if you submit voluntarily):||…has to be submitted by (if you are obligated to submit):|
|for the fiscal year 2016||31.12.2020||31.05.2017 (expired)|
|for the fiscal year 2017||31.12.2021||31.05.2018 (expired)|
|for the fiscal year 2018||31.12.2022||31.07.2019 (expired)|
|for the fiscal year 2019||31.12.2023||31.07.2020|
|for the fiscal year 2020||31.12.2024||31.07.2021|
Deadline for voluntary tax declaration
Many employees, officials and students are not obligated to submit a tax declaration. We advise to file a voluntary tax return, as many expenses are deductible: costs for the commute to work, business trips, work items, job applications, a home office, a double household, as well as care expenses for children, animals, relatives and more. Students can also deduct expenses for their education in some cases.
Citizens who want to file a voluntary tax declaration, can do so up to four years after the end of the fiscal year. This means, the tax return for 2019 can be submitted until December 31st, 2023. Most tax payers who file a tax return, will receive a refund. On average, this refund amounts to 1,007 Euros per tax payer.