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Don’t miss the deadline! When to submit your tax return in Germany for 2023

Your tax return empowers you to reclaim the income tax you’ve previously paid. It’s crucial to note that there’s a limited window for submission, as exceeding this timeframe may result in additional fees. Here are the deadlines for filing your 2023 tax returns.

2023 tax return deadlines

If you choose to handle your tax return personally in Germany, you have a limited window of time to do so. The scenario varies when utilizing the services of a tax preparer or a tax assistance association.
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For employees whose tax return is managed by an advisor, there’s no need to rush. They still have several months to address the 2022 tax return, as it must be submitted to the tax office by July 31, 2024. However, for the 2023 tax year, individuals preparing their own returns or voluntarily seeking assistance have until June 2, 2025, if utilizing a tax advisor. The timeline differs for those opting to prepare their tax return independently. To ensure the timely submission of your 2023 tax return, the deadline is September 2, 2024.

Tax-free amount in Germany

In 2023, the basic tax relief, representing the income amount exempt from taxation, was raised. Individuals earning up to EUR 10,908 in 2023 are not obligated to pay income tax on this amount. However, consumers who fail to meet tax filing deadlines may incur surcharges, fines, and interest. The tax office typically extends the deadline only in rare cases.
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Failure to meet tax filing deadlines will result in surcharges, fines, and interest
Failure to meet tax filing deadlines may incur surcharges, fines, and interest

Who has to fill tax returns in Germany?

Preparing a tax return can be beneficial, even if the potential refund is relatively small. In Germany, salaried employees find the tax system relatively straightforward, as their employer deducts income tax directly from their salary. Many employees, especially those with consistent earnings, have their tax responsibilities managed and regulated by the employer, thanks to this streamlined process. Nevertheless, exploring and filing a tax return can uncover opportunities for refunds or deductions that may have been overlooked, making it worthwhile to engage with the tax return process.
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Employee tax returns are mandatory, among others: for people who:

  • They have more than one type of income
  • They run a business
  • They receive income from abroad
  • They are in a complex family situation: If you have a complex family situation, such as a married couple filing jointly, there may be additional tax obligations.
  • Taking advantage of various tax credits: Individuals claiming tax credits, such as child tax credit, may need to file a tax return.
  • They receive rental income
  • They receive social benefits