If I file my tax return once, do I always have to?
According to the motto: "Once tax return, always tax return?"
When the tax return becomes mandatory
Many employees are required to file an income tax return. In this context, there is talk of a compulsory assessment (Pflichtveranlagung).
Taxpayers are obliged to submit if:
- Additional income of more than 410 euros was achieved or
- income was obtained from a freelance activity or
- income was obtained from a trade or
- Income from renting and leasing of more than 410 euros was generated or - the tax office has entered an income tax allowance or
- Wage replacement benefits (“Lohnersatzleistungen”, e.g. unemployed, insolvency, short-time working, maternity, parental allowance) have been received that are subject to the progression proviso (Progressionsvorbehalt) and amount to more than 410 euros or
- In the case of separated spouses, the training allowance, the disability or surviving dependents' lump sum for children is not divided 50/50 or
- In a period of the year, income was earned by several employers at the same time or
- an employee receives a severance payment using the fifth method (Fünftelungsmethode) or
- Capital income subject to final withholding tax on which no final withholding tax was paid was received or
- Spouses who have chosen tax class IV factor / IV factor or III / V.
This list contains only the most important reasons for a tax obligation. There are special cases that are not listed here. In addition, the responsible tax office can ask citizens to submit a tax return.
Voluntary tax return
Of course, taxpayers can also voluntarily submit an income tax return. However, many are afraid to do so, because they fear it threatens them with a back payment. Others think the work for a tax return is too much or they think that from now on they will have to provide information about their income and expenses every year.
In principle, expenses such as income-related expenses (Werbungskosten), household-related services (haushaltsnahe Dienstleistungen), special expenses (Sonderausgaben) or extraordinary expenses (außergewöhnliche Belastungen) can be claimed for tax purposes in the tax return..
This usually pays off and there is a refund. Without a tax return, the state does not learn that tax-reducing expenses have been incurred in these areas.
One tax return, always tax return?
The tax return is usually worthwhile. On average, there is a proud EUR 1.072 tax refund, as official statistics show. Citizens also have plenty of time to voluntarily submit their tax return: four years from the end of the tax year.
However, if you do not want to submit a tax return, you are not obliged to do so due to an earlier tax return. As long as you are not obliged to pay the fee under the Income Tax Act, you can make a new decision every year.
Better to submit a tax return
What many do not know is that they drop several lump sums under the ground. Many employees can save taxes simply through the commuting allowance (Entfernungspauschale). Parts of the ancillary rental costs (e.g. caretaker costs) can also be deducted as part of household-related services. In addition, costs for a professionally necessary move and many other expenses can be deducted from tax.
With our tax calculator you can see whether the levy is worthwhile for you. Just try out our tax solution.