Your Tax Questions, Answered

Read Our Blog

Our blog has basic information to get you started to understand tax items related to your situation.

If you need more information or have any questions, use the form at the bottom of the page to submit a question and one of our tax professionals will get in touch soon.

German Wage Tax Calculator

This program is a German Wage Tax Calculator for singles as well as married couples for the years 2010 until 2016. Note: This Wage Tax Calculator is best suited if you receive a salary only as an employee on a German payroll. If you only have income as self employed, from a trade or from…

Details

German Income Tax Calculator

This program  is a German Income Tax Calculator for singles as well as married couples for the years 1999 until 2016. Note: This Income Tax Calculator is best suited if you only have income as self employed, from a trade or from a rental property. If you receive a salary only as an employee on a German payroll…

Details

What is the Capital Gains Tax Rate in Germany?

There is no separate tax on capital gains. Capital gains are subject to income tax as regular income however: there is no capital gains tax on a property used as a private home there is no capital gains tax on a  property held for more than 10 years capital gains on shares are taxed at a…

Details

How to Avoid Double Taxation

Germany has concluded Double Taxation Agreements with most countries around the world (www.bundesfinanzministerium.de ). These Double Taxation Agreements determine which country has the right to levy tax on your income. These are the rules to  make sure you are not taxed twice on the same income by providing a system of tax exemptions or tax credits…

Details

Can I Get German Pension Contributions Refunded After I Leave Germany?

The most frequent situation we come across for the purposes of getting German pension contributions refunded is the following: – You have worked in Germany as a regular employee for less than 60 months – You have paid into the German pension system during this time – You do not hold an EU citizenship – You…

Details

When Are Taxes Payable in Germany?

Income tax is paid by employees on a monthly basis at the source through a withholding mechanism. Self employed individuals need to make a projection of their income for the tax year. Based on this projected figure, the tax office will work out a preliminary tax bill. This tax bill is then paid in four…

Details

Foreign Income

Is Foreign Income Taxed in Germany? If you live and work in Germany you are usually taxable in Germany on your foreign income worldwide. All your income needs to be reported to the German authorities.  If you have income outside of Germany the Double Taxation Treaty between Germany and the country where your income comes from…

Details

Freelancer Next Steps: How to Pay VAT Taxes in Germany

Your Finanzamt will ask you to initially submit monthly VAT returns for your VAT taxes (unless you are registered as a “Kleinunternehmer” – a micro business).You will have to report your monthly VAT liability to the Finanzamt and make VAT payments accordingly. The reporting (“Umsatzsteuervoranmeldung”) is done electronically via www.elsterformular.de where you also find the relevant forms.  At…

Details

Tax Residency

For tax purposes, nationality is only a relevant factor in very rare cases. Many tax benefits available to German nationals are equally available to EU nationals, but not in all cases to non-EU nationals. There is no specific “Expat Tax Status” in Germany like you find in some other jurisdictions. In other words: As an…

Details

How Do I Register As A Freelancer/Contractor In Germany?

How to Register as a Freelancer/Contractor? You need to register with your local Finanzamt as “selbständig”. You can find the required registration form at: https://www.formulare-bfinv.de/ffw/content.do Your Finanzamt will then issue a tax number for you. The registration is not as complicated as the 8 page form would suggest. You need to provide information on your…

Details

Where Can I Find Tax Forms and My Local Tax Office?

Can I Submit Forms Online? You can submit your German tax forms online at www.elsterformular.de You need to make sure to download (for free) the most current version of the tax software onto your system. Alternatively you can also get the required software (for free) on CD-ROM from your local Finanzamt. Please note that you also need…

Details

Can An Expat Claim Relocation Expenses When Moving To Germany?

If you can show that you relocated for work purposes you can make a claim for your relocation expenses. In most cases it is sufficient to show that you took up work in Germany within a reasonable period after relocating. You can claim the cost of transport for yourself and all members of your family…

Details

How Do I Show VAT on Invoices as a Freelancer or Contractor in Germany?

If you did not register as “Kleinunternehmer” you will in most cases have to show VAT on invoices if your customer is located in Germany. The most frequent domestic case we come across in which a VAT exemption applies is teaching income (if your customer is VAT exempt). If you provide a consulting service to…

Details

How Does Renting/Owning/Selling Property Affect My German Taxes?

How Does Renting Out a Home Overseas Affect My German Taxes? For German tax purposes the income from a foreign rental property is calculated according to German tax rules. Under German tax rules you can offset interest payments on a mortgage, a 2% annual depreciation on the purchase price of the building and any other…

Details

How Does Marriage Affect Taxes in Germany for Expats? Tax Classes

In most cases getting married is relevant for tax purposes. Married couples can file a joint income tax return (they can also opt to file separate returns and they can exercise this option from year to year). If one spouse is on a higher level of income than the other spouse it is beneficial to…

Details

Useful Links and Agencies for Expats

We have tried our very best to find as many useful links in the English language as possible. Unfortunately the majority of links are still in German. We felt these links can still be of value to you, as knowing where to find the information you were looking for is half the battle. Hopefully you have…

Details

Tax Rates on Income In Germany

Annual income of less than 8,652 € is not taxed at all. Income tax starts with 14,77% and gradually goes up to 44,31% (top tax rate applies to taxable income of more than 53,666 €). The amounts double for married couples filing joint returns. As your income goes up, the tax rates go up. This…

Details

When Are Tax Returns Due?

An income tax return has to be filed by May 31st for the previous year. It is possible to file for extensions. If you work with an accountant you will automatically get an extension until the end of December. If you are a single individual (or married couple with one salary only) who has nothing…

Details