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

Last Updated on September 26, 2023

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.

Who should file a tax return in Germany
Anlage N Part 1, Part 2, Anlage N-Aus, Anlage Wa-Est, Homeoffice
Anlage Vorsorgeaufwand
Anlage Kind
Anlage Sonderausgaben
Anlage Haushaltnahe Diensleistungen 35a
Tax declaration Germany. Anlage EÜR
German tax refund – What I can claim to return. I-N, A-D, E-H, P-W
All deductible expenses in German tax return. 1. Außergewöhnliche Belastungen
Freiberufler in Germany: how to fill in Anlage S and Fragebogen zur steuerlichen Erfassung

I am not a tax consultant and I am not responsible for filling out your tax return. Ask the consultants if you are not sure.

What is written in Berechnung in Elster

You can see this calculation in pdf format by clicking on the blue Prüfen button in Elster. A similar calculation will be in the tax program that Aldi sells.

It begins with a table that shows the finished result: how much you paid and how much more is due (you or Finanzamtб). The negative amount in the Insgesamt column is in your favor (it will be transferred to your account), the positive amount is in favor of the FA.

Then there is the listing of those incomes that you indicated, by type and by recipient. Income from self-employed business is calculated in Anlage EÜR, so the finished result is indicated.

Tax declaration Germany. Anlage EÜR

Income as an employee is indicated first as “brutto”, then a calculation is made with the deductions that you were able to collect.

You can check to see if you’ve listed everything: home office, commuting, attorney’s insurance, a second home, and so on.

Anlage N. Part 2 Werbungskosten
Home office in tax return
Second home for work in the declaration (Doppelte Haushaltsführung)

At the end they write how much real income as employee is left (Einkünfte).

Another summing line Gesamtbetrag der Einkünfte – now they add up your income and your partner’s income. But it is still not final. We are waiting for the deductions of social benefits.

How to calculate tax in Germany

Einkommen – the net balance after deducting anything that deducts the taxable base. We will still have deductions that reduce the tax itself, and not the base – they will go after the calculation of the main amount of the tax.

So we have zu versteuerndes Einkommen – this is what is actually taxable. Tax is calculated from this amount. How it is calculated – read more about this futher. In Berechnung you see a ready-made result according to your tariff.

Then a new reduction begins for those amounts that can be deducted directly from taxes. For example, amounts for housework according to Anlage Haushaltnahe Dienstleistungen.

As a result, we get an amount due, which is compared with the amount you have already paid during the year.

Separately, the calculation of Soli is indicated – a tax on the maintenance of eastern lands. Most taxpayers no longer pay it.

Finally, you are shown what is the ratio of your net income to the tax you accrued. This indicator is called Steuerlast.

How to calculate tax in Germany

The difficulty in calculating the tax in Germany is that the scale is progressive and a larger amount of tax is taken not from the entire amount, but from the difference with the previous level. That is, first, the non-taxable minimum will be removed during the calculation, then the remaining amount will be divided into segments and a certain percentage will be calculated from them. Then all the results will be added. It is difficult to find out specific percentages, since they are shown everywhere in the form of graphs (that is, they constantly change) and, moreover, there is a little different graphs for each year.

For a quick calculation, while you do not yet know your taxable amount, you can use various calculators, for example this. But they are not very accurate and are suitable so that you can imagine how much you will receive approximately on hand with the indicated annual (monthly) gross salary. A more accurate calculation can only be recieved using tax programs when you enter the number of children, working deductions and other deductions.

You can see the tax from your taxable income in the tables. For example, tables for 2022 for married people: We open the first table, look for our amount of income there and get the amount of tax.
Or use the calculator from the Ministry of Finance: calculator. In the calculator, we indicate the already cleared amount, and not the gross.

How can you be sure that Elster is not deceiving you? Errors can be in the calculation of the amount to be taxed, but not in the calculation of the tax. To make sure that the taxable amount is calculated correctly, buy a program in Aldi (2-5 euros) or use one of the tax apps for your phone. As a rule, you only have to pay there when you send the declaration. You can play with itfor free. I haven’t seen any discrepancies yet, but I know a case where a deduction for an already adult student child was taxed against the taxpayer, which he discovered with the help of the tax program, and he had to swear with the FA. In simple cases, such problems do not arise.

All topics about the #tax return in Germany.

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