Expenses from Your Profession
Income-related expenses (Werbungskosten) are legally defined as “expenses for acquiring, securing and maintaining income” (§ 9 EStG) and these professional expenses can be deducted on your tax return. These can include commuting costs, business trip expenses, training/education, professional attire costs, or occupational insurance.
A lump sum of 1,000 euros is automatically observed by the tax office (Finanzamt) on your tax return for income-related expenses with no proof required. If you’d like to deduct more than 1,000 euros, you must provide proof for the additional expenses.
Some common income-related expenses
- Commuting costs (Fahrtkosten): You can deduct a flat rate of €0.35 per kilometer traveled to work (one-way)
- Room & board costs (Verpflegungsmehraufwand): Employees who go on business trips are compensated for room & board
- Work equipment (Arbeitsmittel): Equipment purchased for professional reasons is fully tax-deductible Moving costs (Umzugskosten): If you move for professional purposes, the expenses are fully tax-deductible
- Double household maintenance (Doppelte Haushaltsführung): Those who maintain two households for professional reasons can deduct expenses for the second residence from their taxes
- Union dues (Gewerkschaftsbeiträge): Contributions to professional associations, trade unions, or donations to relief organizations can be deducted in full from your taxes
- Insurances (Versicherungen): You can claim costs for all insurances that cover occupational hazards (e.g. Professional liability)
- Telephone and internet costs: A portion of your telephone and internet costs can be deducted if these services are used professionally