Tax assessment notice: The big wait begins (Wartezeit Steuerbescheid)

Early submission is worth it (not)

Those who come to the bakery first thing in the morning also look forward to fresh bread straight from the oven. Anyone who stands in front of the shoe rack at the end of the sale can look forward to the best offers. Anyone who submits their tax return quickly, gets their tax assessment notice sent earlier. The logic is correct, but there is an exception in this regard.

If the tax return (Steuererklärung) is submitted online via ELSTER, it will be treated preferentially.

Submission before March is not worth it

Every year tax laws change. And theoretically, these can be only be revised by December 31st of the previous year. So, it takes some time before changes are actually applied. For example, changes must first be entered into the tax office's software. Additionally, employers and insurance always have until 02/28 of each year to submit their tax information. As a result, many documents are still incomplete.

Because of this, many tax offices (Finanzämter) don't start processing until the end of March.

Can I speed up the process?

There are a few things that can be considered in order to avoid a delay However, the processing time can be accelerated only conditionally.

What you can do:

• send all supporting documents directly with the tax return to the tax office • electronically filed income tax returns are preferred • in order to take advantage of time head start, it would be best to submit your taxes at the end of March (no guarantee for a shorter wait)

When does the tax assessment notice (Steuerbescheid) come?

Unfortunately, there is no single answer to this question, since the processing time varies from tax office to tax office. However, if you haven't received anything after 3 months, you should contact the tax office and see if everything was correct. If, however, already 6 months have passed without having received a tax assessment (Steuerbescheid), then processing can be demanded. The earliest tax assessments are sent according to experience in early April. As a rule, the waiting time is 5 to 9 weeks on average.

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