Information about filling tax returns in Germany

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Disclaimer: I’m not a tax adviser (Steuerberater) and in Germany only tax adviser are allowed to give tax advice

You will need following forms:

plus other forms, e.g. Anlage Kind if you have a child/children, Anlage AUS if you had income from outside Germany in 2010, Anlage KAP if you had interest income over 801€, …

You can find the 2010 version of all tax forms here, except the Mantelbogen ESt 1 V, which is here.

You can either fill them in on your computer within the 45 minutes they give you for each page on each form, or print them out and fill them in by hand.
You cannot save what you fill in, except as an XML file. You can later import that XML file to pick up where you left off, see the icons for these actions below:
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Important: Make a copy of your filled in and signed tax forms and of all documents you will submit, so that you have something if they get lost and to consult later on.

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How to fill in the Mantelbogen ESt 1V

line 1: make an X in the box to the left of “Einkommenssteuererklärung”
line 2: your tax number (if you already have one, if not leave empty)
line 3: your personal identity number (if you already have one, if not leave empty)
line 4: name of your Finanzamt, for Natalie1982: Finanzamt Prenzlauer Berg, Storkower Str. 134, 10407 Berlin
line 6: your phone number (you are not obliged to give it!)
line 7: your surname, your date of birth
line 8: your first name
line 9: your street and street number (for Natalie1982: your Dutch address)
line 10 : your postal code, town=???, Religion=VD (this means no religion, hopefully you did not register for any of the kinds for which you have to pay church tax, e.g. RK= roman catholic or EV = evangelisch=lutheran)
line 11: your job title, e.g. Software engineer
line 12: if you are single put nothing, otherwise: married since / widowed since / divorced since / living apart from wife/husband since

line 13-17: same details for wife

line 18: your bank account number, Bankleitzahl
line 19: your IBAN (International bank account number, starts with DE for German accounts and NL for Dutch accounts)
line 20: your BIC/SWIFT code = international code of your bank
line 21: name of your bank
line 22: put an X in the box to the left of “Kontoinhaber”
line 23: put an X in the box to the left of “Anlage Vorsorgeaufwand” and an X in the box to the left of “Anlage AV” (if you paid for Riester)
line 24: put in your eTIN number from the Lohnsteuerbescheinigung
line 25: put in the sum of all unemployments benefits, parent allocation, illness payments, etc. you got in that year
line 26: explain times of unemployment and attach certifications to prove them
line 27: tells you to attach certification for Vermögenswirksame Leistungen to the income tax return, put a cross in if you got them and attach the certifications in paper form

Now go to the second page, by clicking on the icon for “page 2” at the top of the window. You will get another 45 minutes to fill in that page.

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top of page: fill in your tax number (leave empty if you haven’t been assigned one yet)
line 31: address of your workplace / days of work per week / how many days you took off for illness and vacation
line 32: how many days you worked in that year / simple distance between your flat and your workplace / kilometres travelled in employer’s bus shuttle / kilometres travelled with public transport, motor cycle, bike, car pool / fill in a 1 if you are disabled
line 33: total cost of your public transport tickets (no air plane or ferry tickets)
line 34: total costs you had to keep your job or apply for a new job for which you haven’t been reimbursed by the employer, e.g. training costs, stationary, postage to mail job applications, bank account costs, travel costs to training or job interviews
lines 35 to 38: same as above for wife

line 39: church tax paid / church tax reimbursed to you
line 40: what you gave to charity (attach paper proofs)
line 41: what you gave to charity (if these proofs are in electronic format)

line 42: your rate of disability (e.g. 50%)/ an X if you’re blind or totally helpless
line 43: special expenditures incurred, e.g. illness costs or divorce costs / total costs incurred / how much of them you expect to be reimbursed for by e.g. health insurance
line 45: put an 1 in the box to certify that you did not have interest income over 801€ that year (1602€ if you’re married)

line 46: write for example: Hilfe im Haushalt (=cost for cleaning woman) / total cost
line 47: write for example: Pflegehilfe (=cost for person helping with nursing an invalid) / total cost
line 48: write for example: Handwerker (costs for handymens’ work, EXCLUDE costs for the spare parts they used) / total cost

line 50: put in the date and sign

That’s it for the Mantelbogen.

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How to fill in Anlage N

line 1: your surname
line 2: your first name
line 3: your tax number / an X in the box to the left of Stpfl. if this is your form N, in the next box if it’s your wife’s

All the following amounts should be copied from your Lohnsteuerbescheinigung:
line 4: you eTIN / any other eTINs you got from other Lohnsteuerbescheinugungen
line 5: fill into box your tax class (e.g. 1 if you’re single)
line 6: first column: your gross income / second column: gross income that was taxed according to tax class 6, i.e. before you presented your employer with a Lohnsteuerkarte
line 7: the wage tax you paid
line 8: the solidarity tax you paid
line 9: the solidarity tax you paid
line 10: if your spouse is of another religion that has to pay church tax, how much they paid

lines 11 to 16: ignore if you are not a Beamter who is shortly before/of pension age or a Beamter’s widow or orphan

line 17: amount of compensations you got, e.g. when you were fired
line 18: wage tax you paid on these compensations / solidarity tax you paid on these compensations
line 18: church tax you paid on these compensations / curch tax your spouse paid on these compensations

line 21: wages you got that are tax free according to a double tax treaty: country / amount
attach paper proof
line 22: tax free wages if you worked outside Germany in one of the cases stated in the Auslandstätigkeitserlass: country / amount

line 23: fill in if you were a Grenzgänger, e.g. lived in Germany but worked in Luxembourg, Switzerland, …

line 24: tax free income from a privileged task, e.g. trainer for a non-profit sports club

line 25: fill in what you have in section Nr. 15 of your Lohnsteuerbescheinigung (wages paid for Kurzarbeit, …)

line 26: Insolvenzgeld you got if your employer went broke, in accordance with the certification you got from the “Agentur für Arbeit”

line 27: other income you got, e.g. unemployment benefits, parenting allowance, illness payments …
line 28: explanation for times you did not work, attach paper proof

click on icon for “page 2”:
top of page: your tax number, surname, first name

line 31: an X in 1st box if you used your own car to drive to work, in the second box if you used the car the employer gave you / number plate of car, e.g. B-GH-5686

lines 32 to 35: workplaces: address / days per week worked / days off for illness or vacation
lines 36 to 39: workplace mentioned in line : ___ (i.e. insert 32, or 33, or 34, or 35) / how many days you went there that year / simple distance between your flat and your workplace / kilometres travelled in employer’s bus shuttle / kilomtres travelled with public transport, motor cycle, bike, car pool / fill in a 1 if you are disabled

line 40: what you have in line 17 of your Lohnsteuerbescheinigung / what you have in line 18 of your Lohnsteuerbescheinigung

line 41: professional asscoiation for which you pay membership fees / total amount

Expenditures you had to keep your job (don’t put in those your employer reimbursed you for!)
line 42 and 43: stationary, copies, .. used for your work / total amounts

line 44: room you use only to work in in your private flat / costs
line 45: training costs: say which courses / total cost
line 46: air plane and ferry costs to get from your flat to your workplace
lines 47 to 49: other costs, e.g. for applying for a new job, bank account fees, … / field 53: total of lines 46 to 49

line 50: total travel costs incurred because of job
line 51: of these travel costs above, reimbursed by employer

line 52: days when you were on a job trip inside Germany of more than 8 hours
line 53: days when you were on a job trip inside Germany of more than 14 hours
line 54: days when you were on a job trip inside Germany of more than 24 hours

line 55: if you travelled outside Germany for your job: attach a separate page and list all those trips; calculate the total extra subsistence costs according tothis list and fill in this total amount.
in field 54: total of lines 52 to 55

line 56: amount your employer reimbursed your for these additional subsistence costs from lines 52 to 55

click on icon for “page 3”:
top of page: your tax number, surname, first name

costs for having 2 households (Doppelte Haushaltsführung):
You have to go “home” at least every 2 months if it’s in Germany, but it can be at longer intervals if it’s outside Germany.

line 61: city of your workplace, e.g. if your job is in Munich: Munich
line 62: reason for keeping up 2 households / from date / to date
line 63: if you do keep up two households, put an X next to “Ja” / in which city,
e.g. if you work in Munich but keep a furnished flat in Nuremberg (or Rome or Bangalore) where for example:
– you keep your family, or
– live by yourself whenever you are there (just a room in your parent’s house does not count)
this is called your “home”, put in: Nuremberg or Rome or Bangal / since date
line 64: costs with public transport for first and last time you travel “home”
line 65: costs with own car (0.03€/km) or motor cycle/scooter (0.13€/km) for first and last time you travel “home”
line 66: costs calculation for the distance: costs for all the trips “home” in between the last and first time you went “home” (not with company car or air plane or ferry): kilometres of simple distance (i.e. half of kilometres to go there and back again) x 0.30€/km = ….
line 67: costs for all the trips “home” in between the last and first time you went “home”, what you spent if you took public transport (without air plane or ferry costs)
line 68: fill in the either the amount from line 66 or 67, whatever is higher
lines 69 to 71: only fill in if you are disabled
line 72: air plane and ferry costs to get “home” (attach paper proofs e.g. tickets, boarding passes, …)

line 73: costs of flat at workplace city, e.g. rent + utilities. Attach rental contract and proofs of payment
lines 74 to 78: costs for additional subsistence for the time (but only within the first 3 months of taking up the job!) in the workplace city you stay in your workplace city (they are done just like lines 52 to 56)

line 80: if you got Vermögenswirksame Leistungen, put in the number of certifications you have for that (i.e. how many Anlage VL you will attach).

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How to fill in Anlage Vorsorgeaufwand
top of page: your tax number, surname, first name

first column is for you/husband if you’re married, second column is for the wife:

– in line 4: pension contribution you paid (from section 23 of Lohnsteuerbescheinigung = certificate of wage tax deduction which you get from employer every year)

– in line 8: employer’s part of pension contribution (from section 22 of Lohnsteuerbescheinigung )

– in line 12: contribution to the public health insurance (if you have one) (from section 25 of Lohnsteuerbescheinigung)

– in line 15: contribution to public nursing insurance (if you have one) (Pflegeversicherung) (from section 26 of Lohnsteuerbescheinigung)

click on icon for “page 2”:– in lines 31 and 32 fill in the values the private health insurance (if you have one) will send you in a letter for health & Pflegeversicherung, which will be considerably less than you actually paid, because you are only allowed to claim in the tax return what a “basic” insurance, which is comparable to public insurance cover, would have cost

– line 44, field 370: unemployment insurance contribution (from line 27 of Lohnsteuerbescheinigung)

– lines 46 to 50: any other insurances you have, e.g. personal liability insurance in line 48

Basically, the rule for filling in this form is to look in it for the mention of “lt. Nr. ?? der Lohnsteuerbescheinigung” and then to look for that section in your Lohnsteuerbescheinigung and see if you have an amount there. If yes, transfer it to the tax form.

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How to fill in Anlage AV
lines 1, 2, 3: your surname, first name, tax number

first column is for you/husband, second column for wife:
line 4: German social security number
line 6: put a 1 into the box
line 9: how many paper certifications you attach, certifying all your private pension plans
line 10: fill in 1
line 11: fill in the gross salary you had in the year 2009. No, this is not a mistake, it really says 2009.
line 19: fill in all foreign gross salaries for which you had to pay public pension payments in the year 2009.

lines 21 to 24: only fill if you have children

click on icon for “page 2”:
For you/husband: lines 31 to 42:
line 31: registration number (Anbieternummer) of insurance company with which you have the pension plan / their certification number (=Zertifizierungsnummer)
line 32: your pension plan contract number
line 33: take from the certification your insurance company sent you: amount for Beiträge / amount for Tilgungsleistungen
repeat for 2nd, 3rd, 4th contract.

For wife: lines 43 to 54:
line 43: registration number (Anbieternummer) of insurance company with which the wife has the pension plan / their certification number (=Zertifizierungsnummer)
line 44: wife’s pension plan contract number
line 45: take from the certification wife’s insurance company sent her: amount for Beiträge / amount for Tilgungsleistungen
repeat for 2nd, 3rd, 4th contract.

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How to fill in Anlage VL
at top: you fill in your surname, first name, tax number and identification number
for the rest let the institution with which you have a contract for which you want to receive or already receive Vermögenswirksame Leistungen fill it in to certify to that contract and attach the whole filled in and signed paper form to your tax forms.

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