Key Information

What you need to know about income tax in Germany.



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Registering with the tax authorities
If you intend to work in Germany, you are probably wondering if and when you should get in touch with the tax authorities regarding your tax matters. Our answer to this would normally be: only when you (may opt to) file a tax return. With the following questions and answers, we provide an overview of the procedures for the withholding of wages tax and how taxpayer identification within the tax system is ensured.
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Tax liability in Germany
Moving to Germany brings with it many changes, which may also affect your personal tax situation. In the Q&A section below we will look at the specific circumstances likely to happen if you relocate to Germany.
Tax return form
Income taxation in Germany
Simply put, income tax in Germany is determined by applying a tax rate to a taxable income. Determining the taxable income involves several steps: First of all, all incomes of a taxpayer are aggregated. Then, certain expenses and any allowances are deducted. The following questions and answers will give an insight into how income tax is calculated in Germany.
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Tax benefits for spouses
In Germany, spouses may apply to be assessed jointly. Under such joint assessment, spouses may benefit from a tax-reducing effect, as opposed to as if the couple had filed individual income tax returns. The tax benefit results from the fact that the net incomes accruing to each spouse are aggregated and the couple is treated as a single taxpayer. This requires both spouses to be subject to unlimited income tax liability and not permanently separated.
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Family benefits for children
Tax measures aimed at providing financial relief for parents, especially parents with children under age, are a special feature of German income tax law. These questions and answers will provide an overview of benefits available.
Tax return with ELSTER
Filing tax returns
Whether you are required to submit tax returns or want to file voluntarily ‒ perhaps because you are expecting to receive a refund of excess wages tax paid ‒ after the end of the calendar year you may have to tackle your taxes. With the questions and answers in this section, we hope to give you some practical guidance.