If you worked last year in Germany and paid income tax, you can get tax money back now. This article shows you, how to get it done within 10 Minutes. I will show you how I got back 3000€ last year from my 10-month employment that earned me 32.000€ brutto.
For those who earned more than 8354€ last year (this amount is free of income tax), we urgently recommend you to get professional help. You can post an easy and free request for professional tax help HERE . It costs you only 36-300€, depending on your annual income. The average German tax refund is more than 1000€, so it is definitely worth a shot. Furthermore, you can check out the Brutto-Netto-Calculator to see how much tax and social security you actually paid last year.
Let’s get started – First download this document
This form is sufficient for you, if you only received a normal salary, unemployment money, maternity benefits and if you had no special expenses like paying back a student loan.
Please remember: The information you enter in this document should refer to the entire year, f.e. 01.01.2014 – 31.12.2014
1. Tick only the left box
2. You can find your tax number in every letter you ever received from the tax office (“Finanzamt”). If you are not sure about it, just call your tax office.
3. To find out which tax office is responsible for you, check out this link.
4. If you recently moved within Germany, write the name of your former tax office here.
5. Your phone number.
6. Your ID-No and your date of birth
7.–12. Name, Address and Profession (write “student” if you were enrolled the entire last year).
13.-20. You can leave this part completely free if you are not married yet.
21.-23. Enter your bank details.
24. If the account belongs to you, tick the left box. If the account belongs to your wife/husband, tick the right box. If the account belongs to someone else, give the name of the person in the field on the right.
25. You can find your „eTIN“ Number on your “Lohnsteuerbescheinigung” (that is a simple A4 sheet which you have to hand to your employer at the beginning). The number consists of 14 digits and capital letters. In case you don’t have an eTIN, you should have the new “Steuer-Identifikationsnummer” from your Tax office. If you can’t find that one either, check out this link to apply for a new number that will be sent to you by post.
26./27. If you never received regular payments from the German government, you can leave this blank. If you received unemployment money, parental allowance, maternity allowanc etc. please state the amount (26.) and the timeframe & kind of grants (27.). You find a full list of options to fill in HERE .
31. Give the address of your working place, working days per week and the number of holidays and sick days. Holidays are only those, that you actively took off
your job. Government holidays are not included here.
32. (110) Number of actual working days, (111) distance from your home to working place, (112) distance from home to working place covered with your car, (113 left) distance from your home to working place covered with transportation provided by the employer, (113 right) distance from your home to working place covered with public transport, (115) if you have a disability of at least grade 50, write “1”.
33. Expenses for public transport that you had to make for your job.
34. Expenses for working material, job applications/interviews, trainings, flights, bank account fees (find a list in English HERE ).
35.-38. Same as above for your husband/wife.
39. You can check in your income statement if, and if yes, how much church tax you paid and fill in (103).
40. If you donated money to NGOs (German: “Verein”, “e.V.” etc.) or the church, you can give the amount here, that will get you back income tax.
41. Same as (40.), but only for the cases where you made a donation and filled a paper to transfer this donation’s data straight to the tax office.
42. If you do not take care of any disabled person, you can leave this part blank. Otherwise, enter the grade of disability (56) and write “1” if the person is blind or helpless (20). Enter the same information if your wife/husband is disabled in (57) and (21).
43. Leave blank if you don’t take care of any disabled person. Otherwise, enter the type of disability, the expenses you made for this person (63) and the money, insurance etc. you received (64).
44. If you did not employ anyone last year, you can leave 44 – 47 free. Otherwise, enter the type of household help (cleaning lady) and the amount
45. Here you can enter the type of professional handyman that you hired (plumber, painter etc.) and the amount you paid.
46. If you share a flat with other people, enter the number of people in (223) and give one name.
47. If you share your flat with more than one person, give your share of the flat (i.e. if you are 4 people, enter “25%)
48. If you moved in or out of a flat that you shared with your husband/wife, write a “1” in the field (219).
49. YOU DID IT. Sign and send to your tax office and wait for your bank account to get filled up =) It takes 2-8 weeks.
ATTENTION. As mentioned in the beginning of this article, you should get professional help if you received a full salary for at least a few weeks or months last year. There are many legal tax tricks, that will get you back a lot of tax money back.
Please note: The author of this article makes no claims of giving complete legal tax advice that represent a tax adviser. For professional service, please contact our partners by clicking on the picture above.