Status: 02.10.2023, 04:45 a.m.
By: Emanuel Zylla
Time is running out: Even if you are late with your 2022 tax return, you still have options to avoid the expensive late fees from the tax office.
Munich – There are only a few days left until the deadline for filing a tax return for 2022 ends. For all those who like to hand them in at the last minute, there is good news this year: The deadline for the 2022 tax return this year is September 30. But since this is a Saturday, there is still time until October 2nd for the submission. So far so good. There is certainly even some time left to find out about one or the other refund.
However, anyone who fails to submit the declaration on time must expect a late payment surcharge. Stiftung Warentest gives all the tips that are particularly late this year.
Who has to file a tax return with their tax office?
In principle, entrepreneurs and self-employed persons are obliged to file a tax return. Employees are only required to make a declaration if the following applies to them:
- Wage replacement of more than 410 euros was paid. This can be short-time work allowance, parental allowance or unemployment benefit I.
- income was taxed according to income tax class VI.
- additional income (no mini-jobs) of more than 410 euros were generated.
- an income tax allowance has been entered and the gross salary is more than 13,150 euros (more than 24,950 euros for couples) per year. Exceptions apply to registered survivors' or disability lump sums as well as child allowances.
- a couple chooses joint taxation and one has his taxed income in a tax bracket other than IV.
- Source: Stiftung Warentest DE→EN
A last-minute tax return can be nerve-wracking. Nevertheless, even a late submission is still no cause for concern. (Symbolic photo) © diego_cervo/Pond5/Imago
These late surcharges are calculated by the tax office in the event of late submission of the tax return
Stiftung Warentest shows ways to avoid expensive delay surcharges. Because be careful: Each month or part thereof after the deadline costs 0.25 percent of the assessed tax, but at least 25 euros. Although there is not much time left with regard to the calendar, there are still ways to quickly file a valid tax return:
- Via the online portal Elster, it is only possible if you already have access. Registration can take several days. Those who have already done so could theoretically even submit the tax on the deadline (October 2) by 23:59 p.m. On top of that, the portal is very convenient, as many forms are filled out automatically.
- Without Elster access, it is advisable to declare the tax return in paper form. However, the forms are also available electronically and can be filled out on the computer. The free download can be found on the homepage of the Federal Ministry of Finance. Printed out, these must then be sent by post to the responsible tax office. But beware: The letter must be submitted to the authority on the deadline. If you're late, it's better to file your tax return in person at the office.
- In order to meet the deadline, it can also be done by submitting an incomplete tax return. Then the main form and the income form would also be sufficient, as long as they arrive at the tax office on time. In the case of employees and civil servants, Annex N must still be enclosed, Annex R in the case of pensioners and in the case of parents, the Annex for children. A period of one month then applies to the subsequent submission of the remaining documents.
- If you can give your tax office comprehensible reasons, you have the option of applying for an extension of the deadline. This can be done by telephone, in writing or via Elster. A specific deadline should be stated. Stiftung Warentest recommends to deliver one month, but also after that, otherwise there is a risk of delay surcharges again.
- If you seek the help of a tax advisor or an income tax assistance association, you can extend your submission deadline. In this way, taxpayers would still have time until July 2022 for the year 2024. However, becoming a member of a corresponding association could be a cheaper alternative than hiring a tax office. On the other hand, people who earn some extra money with a trade, self-employment or agriculture would have to become tax consultants.
- Source: Stiftung Warentest DE→EN
For the 2024 tax return, the conventional submission deadlines of the tax offices will apply again
By the way, as a result of the Corona pandemic, extended deadlines for filing tax returns apply for the years 2020 to 2023. For the 2024 tax year, the deadline will then return to the normal time of the year. In 2025, this would be July 31, unless the help of tax professionals is used. So people who tend to procrastinate should mark the day thicker in their calendars so that the tax return does not become a matter of nerves again. Or even a rude awakening. (zy)