Tax doesn’t have to be tax-ing in Berlin

Help! I need somebody…
Help! Not just anybody…

I hate doing taxes. In England it’s bad enough, but having done it now for many years I’ve managed to get it down and finish it in less than ten minutes. Oh yeah!!

However, here in Germany it’s full of long German words like Einkommensteuerreformgesetz and Berechnungsvorschriften or Solidaritätszuschlag. Basically, even google can’t explain this stuff to me and now the tax people are nagging us to sort this out, in a big panic we went to an accountant. And it was the best decision we have made since coming to Germany. OMG WHAT A LEGEND. I will give you all his information at the bottom of this post, but all we needed is a fifteen minute chat, all our invoices and our P45 for the year and any receipts for expenses we had managed to keep (not many – doh!). And all in all, it comes to around €250 each – with the money he is saving us because we didn’t work a full year but paid taxes for this and we will get money back for travel and expenses, it’s actually a money-saving opportunity for us to pay someone else for all this stress.

I would have paid ten times this, just not to have to do it ourselves. I spent many hours trying and trying and then trying again and all it did was make me annoyed. Even Jason said I was beaming the minute Mr Accountant took our paperwork and said he would do the rest. What a relief!

If you need help, try :
Stephan Sumpf
Friedrichstraße 95, 10117 Berlin, Germany
Tel.:    +49-30-53 06 50 14


      • I have one more battle with German beaurocracy- just one. Twelve months from now, I am eligible to have the money I paid into the German pension system returned to me. That’s three years of pension, which is a considerable sum of money before taxes. If I had it now, I would be nearly debt-free. Did you guys put money into that while you were in Deutschland?

        • Now that is very interesting, as I asked about this to our tax man and he said we don’t get that money back. We both got a huge amount of money back from Japan when we left so I’m going to look into this. Are you doing it yourself or do you have someone sorting the paperwork out for you? Any idea if it’s only for non-EU people? :)

          • Your German accountant may not have been familiar with the intricacies of expatriate finance. If you put money in to the German system while living there but reside in Germany for less than five years, then you may file for the money to be returned to you 24 months after you left the country. I have a form that has most of my details, and I got help from my German HR person filling it out in preparation for the day I can file it.

          • Thanks so much for this info. I’m looking into it all and hopefully soon we will be millionairs ;0) or we will have enough money for another trip to Berlin for sausages haha!

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