Ministry of Labour, Social, Family Affairs and Integration

Bank Account & Taxes Income Tax Declaration

After a calendar year you may or in certain cases may have to submit an income tax declaration.

Income Tax Declaration - Hamburg Welcome Portal

General Information

Under the Income Tax Act, you are obliged to tax your income in Germany. The income tax declaration is a written statement by a taxpayer about the own income situation in one year to the tax office. The tax office checks your income tax declaration and sets the amount of tax to be paid for the year in a tax assessment. If you have paid too much tax in advance, the difference will be refunded. However, if you have paid too little tax, you must pay the difference amount within a statutory period to the tax office.

Voluntary tax declaration

If you receive your income as an employee, the income tax declaration is voluntary for you. Your employer calculates the tax, solidarity surcharge, and if necessary church tax from your income and pays them to the tax office. The voluntary submission of an income tax declaration is always worthwhile if you had work-related expenses that could reduce your tax burden. These are, for example, expenses for a move when changing the job (including moving in from abroad) or for trips between home and work.

If you want to submit the tax declaration voluntarily, you will have retroactively 4 years time.

Mandatory tax declaration

If you receive income from self-employment, renting, capital assets, pension or income from several employers, you will be required by law to submit the income tax declaration. Further obligations arise from Section 46 (2) Income Tax Act (Einkommenssteuergesetz).

The tax declaration has to be submitted until 31th may of the following year. The deadline can be extended on application. If the tax declaration will be submitted by the tax consultant or an ”income tax assistance association” (Lohnsteuerhilfeverein), the deadline will be extended without an application.

Submission of the tax declaration

You can submit your income tax declaration by mail, electronically or in person to your relevant tax office. Which tax office is relevant for you, depends on your registered address. Moreover, you can ask a tax consultant or an “income tax assistance association” (Lohnsteuerhilfeverein) to fill in your income tax declaration.

For more information please contact a tax consultant, an ”income tax assistance association” (Lohnsteuerhilfeverein) or your relevant tax office.

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