How to calculate tax in Germany. What is written in Berechnung in Elster

How to calculate tax in Germany is not such a simple question as it seems. You can’t just take income and calculate a certain percentage from it. First you have to figure out how much income to take, then find the exact percentage, and then also calculate correctly. Let’s look what is written in the tax calculation (Berechnung) in official Elster tax program and how you can calculate whether everything in your declaration is correct.

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Part time work in Germany. What does freiberuflich, nebenberuflich, ehrenamtlich, gewerblich, Minijob mean

Part time work in Germany can be: work for the minimum wage (Minijob), in the form of a small individual business or work on honorar. You can earn extra money while having a main paid job at the firma, but also a main unpaid job in the family or being a student.

For example, many come up with the idea to somehow monetize their wonderful photos. The entrance to such an activity is very simple – register in the stock and sell. Or work in a Verein, as a tutor, filming events on weekends, babysitting…

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Who should file a tax return in Germany

Briefly about who should file a tax return in Germany, I wrote in the introduction to the topic on filling out a German income tax return. But there was no answer to the question:
I came in Germany this year
I am employee and have no other income
– should I file a declaration in Germany for this year?

In the list of those who must file a tax return in Germany, there are no fresh arrivals in the country. But my old memories of working for a tax magazine brought to the surface a vague knowledge of tax residency. Let’s try to understand this difficult topic, but first we will find out who is still on the list of those who must file.

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Grundsteuererklärung – real estate declaration in Germany

The Grundsteuererklärung real estate declaration in Germany, although it took a long time to prepare, does not have good explanations with examples. It took me two weeks to fill out, understand and order the papers.

If you haven’t started filing a real estate declaration yet, do it now. The time is already approaching the middle. The declaration must be submitted by everyone who owns real estate (apartment, house, garage – in whole or in part). Even apartment owners own some land (Grundstück).

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Tax declaration Germany. Anlage EÜR

Filling out Anlage EÜR was not so easy. I once thought that Anlage EÜR is a simple piece of paper with two columns: “Income” and “Expense”. It turned out that this is such a concentrated declaration, where much of what is in a regular declaration is repeated, only in relation to entrepreneurs. Anlage EÜR even has its own applications.

But despite its formidable size, filling out the Anlage EÜR is always presented as the biggest advantage for small entrepreneurs – compared to the dreaded and scary accounting.

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German income tax declaration. Anlage N-Aus

German tax return

For a long time I was asked to write about Anlage N-Aus, but I always advised to go to the tax consultants for the first time (in LohnsteuerHilfe Verein), since it is not simply.

This Anlage is really complex. But it is possible, that you don’t need this Anlage at all.

If you are first year in Germany or leave it this year, then you need Anlage WA-Est. it has existed since 2017.

Read about Anlage WA-Est here.

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German tax return. Anlage WA-Est

how to fill out Anlage Wa-est

In this part – how to fill out Anlage Wa-Est.

Anlage Wa-Est is filled out by those

  • who left Germany in the declared year,
  • who moved in Germany in the declared year
  • but also those who do not have a permanent place of residence in Germany, but would like to be treated as unrestricted taxable (that is, as living in Germany).

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German income tax declaration. Anlage Vorsorgeaufwand


Anlage Vorsorgeaufwand is an application of German income tax declaration, where insurances are indicated.

All I can return from tax: A-D, E-H, I-N, P-W, Außergewöhnliche Belastungen
Introduction in thema “German tax return” – here
Anlage N Part 1, Part 2, Anlage N-Aus, Anlage Wa-Est, Homeoffice
Anlage Kind
Anlage Sonderausgaben
Anlage Haushaltnahe Diensleistungen 35a

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German tax return Elster. Anlage Sonderausgaben


“Special expenses” (Sonderausgaben) used to be in the Mantelbogen of the German tax declaration. Now they have been taken out in a separate application Anlage Sonderausgaben. Lines are in a different order now.
Application content: chirch tax, donations, expenses for first education, maintenance of other persons.

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Home office tax deduction in german tax return

Wolf, goats and cabbage – an old task in a new way. How do you combine a fully online high school kid, a part-time elementary school child, a dad in a home office who needs complete silence and not run around rooms, and an 11-month-old baby running around – in three rooms?

Fortunately, the hard work for solution of this difficult logistics challenge will be rewarded. The government allowed to write off days in bedlam home office at 5 euros per day.

More details about how to deduct home office expenses from taxes.

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