What’s new in Germany 2023. Energy, ecology, finance

Last Updated on September 27, 2023

We traditionally study what awaits us in 2023 in German laws. In the first part, these are hot energy, financial and environmental topics. In general, life is expected to be a little easier, but sometimes additional environmental fees or social contributions still pop up.

Who should file a tax return in Germany
Child expenses in Germany in October 2022
And you thought you were being praised. German certificate of employment Arbeitszeugnis
Credit cards in Germany
What is Girokonto in Germany

Finance and taxes

Don’t forget about Grundsteuererklärung

The Grundsteuererklärung (extended) deadline is 31 January.

Read about how to fill Grundsteuererklärung – real estate declaration in Germany. There are also french and italian versions.

Grundfreibetrag will be increased

The tax-free exemption will be raised slightly. The tax scale will be adjusted for inflation so that salary increases are not eaten away by taxes.

Special support awaits single parents – additional Entlastungsbetrag will be raised once again.

Kindergeld is increased

Kindergeld increases to 250 euros per child, regardless of their number. Kinderfreibetrag increases accordingly.

Read more about Benefits for families in Germany

The lump sum for working expenses is increased

The lump sum for working expenses (Werbungskosten) will be increased to 1230 euros. That is, you receive a deduction in this amount automatically if you are an employee. Only if the amount of your working expenses exceeds this lump sum, it makes sense to indicate it in the tax return. Given that many have exceeded the lump sum with the help of mileage to work, and the cost per kilometer has not increased significantly, the number of those who could exceed the lump sum will decrease.

Tax return in Germany. Elster online. Anlage N. Working expenses

Altersvorsorge decuct

Pension contributions (mandatory and Rürup-Rente) can now be deducted in full. This measure is one of two steps towards the cancellation of double taxation of pensions.

How to fill Anlage Vorsorgeaufwand

Increasing days in Homeoffice

Instead of 120 days, the Finanzamt now recognizes up to 210 days at Homeoffice. In essence, this makes working from home the equivalent of working in office. For work at home, you can deduct 6 euros per day, that is, a maximum of 1260 euros per year.

Home office tax deduction in german tax return

The amount for a workroom (Arbeitszimmer) at home will increase accordingly to the same 1260 euros. In the future (in one source – from the declaration of 2023, in others there is no exact date), it is planned to make this amount lump sum if the employee does not have another office place.

Changing the border for a Midi-Job

Midi-Job is the one between a mini-job and a normal job. It differs in that social contributions are lowered. The Midi-Job limit will be raised to 2,000 euros per month.

With a midi-job, social contributions change smoothly in the direction of increasing the burden on the employee. How much exactly are the contributions for a certain salary, you can see on this website.

Small job in Germany. What is nebenberuflich, freiberuflich, ehrenamtlich, gewerblich
What is selbstständig, Unternehmer, Honorar, Firma in Germany
Freiberufler in Germany: filling in Fragebogen zur steuerlichen Erfassung and Anlage S

Increasing deduction for supporting a studying child

Ausbildungsfreibetrag (money for the maintenance of a student) increased to 1200 euros per year. Pretty funny amount when you think about how much you have to spend on an apartment or a room for your studying child.

Increasing non-taxable income from capital investment

When you deposit money in a bank, a good bank remembers to remind you of the Sparer-Pauschbetrag. By filling out the Freistellungsauftrag application, you exempt your income from this bank from taxation. In recent years, there was no income on the accounts, now interest has reappeared, so this is becoming relevant.

The amount of tax-free income from capital investment is now 1,000 euros for singles and 2,000 euros for families.

Deposit account in Germany

Sending letters to TV tax “evaders”

For some reason, Rundfunkbeitrag television and radio tax administrators sometimes lose wives and other adult family members, especially when they move to a new apartments. If you receive a letter about this at the beginning of the year, do not forget to note in the Internet portal that the “lost” belongs to a family that already pays tax. Most likely, the office counted the one who signed the lease, but did not take into account the rest of the adults. The tax will not change from this, it is paid from the apartment.

Building insurance rates expected to rise

Building insurance rates are expected to rise after the Eifel disaster. A fare increase is a reason for changing the insurance company without complying with the Kündigungsfrist.

Reduced tax for restaurants / cafe etc.

The 7 percent tax for dishes is retained for another year.

Payments to students

Students will receive a 200 euro lump-sum payment, and those who receive BaFög and do not live at home will also receive an additional heating allowance.

For Azubi, monthly payments for work increase (from 620 euros for the first year).

Capital losses under joint taxation

Previously, capital losses were taken into account for the one who incurred them. Already from the declaration for 2022, they can be taken into account for both partners. And this is logical: the money could be family, even if one of the partners disposed of it.

Completion of acceptance of documents at Baukindergeld

The opportunity to apply for Baukidergeld ends in 2022. The opportunity to purchase housing ended even earlier, only those who had already bought, but for some reason had not yet submitted documents, remained.

Read more about Benefits for families in Germany

Increasing the gift or inheritance tax on real estate

Inheritance and gift of real estate will become more expensive by about 20-30 percent, which is explained by the need to comply with the new realities of the real estate market.

The law, however, does not appear to have been approved yet.

Energy and ecology

Solar panels – for every home

From 2023, solar panels are going to be made more profitable: increase the price for dumping electricity into the network, exempt panels up to 30 kilowatts from income tax and remove Umsatzsteuer when buying (minus 19 percent of the price). However, all this is not yet finalized.

Pay attention on the Solarpflicht in Baden-Württemberg, Berlin and Hamburg, if you want build the house or renovate the roof.

Frozen gas and electricity prices

Starting from March next year, prices for gas, central heating and electricity are frozen for a year, but it should retroactively affect the calculations of January and February. 80 percent (last year) of consumption will cost no more than 12, 9.5 and 40 cents, respectively. More than 80 percent are paid at current prices.

Already in December, homeowners who heat with gas or receive central heating do not have to make advance payments. Those who rent such housing will see a discount in an annual calculation.

In addition, since October, the tax on the delivery of natural gas, liquefied gas and heat from a heating plant has been reduced (from 19 to 7 percent). And the increase in contributions for damaging the atmosphere on gasoline and diesel has been postponed for a year so as not to increase the price of fuel (and the entire product price chain).

CO2 emission fee

If you were happy to read the previous paragraph, then you did it early. The government gives with one hand and takes with the other. By heating your home with natural gas, central heating or diesel fuel, you pollute the atmosphere, for which you will pay. From 2023 – 30 euros per ton, from 2025 – 55 euros per ton. Moreover, homeowners will be encouraged to modernize heating, not allowing them to shift part of the environmental payment to tenants. The older and more energy-intensive the heating, the more the homeowner has to pay. The exception is houses that are protected as monuments.

Reducing government bonuses for the purchase of electric cars

Bonuses are no longer given for the purchase of hybrid cars, other bonuses have been reduced: 4,500 euros for the purchase of an electric car worth up to 40,000 thousand and 3,000 euros for a car worth from 40 to 65 thousand.

Starting September 1, the bonus will only be available to individuals.

A final ban on the production of certain types of lamps

The production of mercury lamps is finally prohibited. During the year, the ban also applies to the production of halogen tube lamps. The ban applies to Type T5, T8, G4, GY6.35 and G9 lamps.

Designation of the type of keeping of pigs

From 2023, German-produced fresh pork must be labeled:
Stall (in a paddock with no exit)
Stall + Platz (with the place for move)
Frischluftstall (outdoor paddock)
Auslauf/Freiland (with the opportunity to walk outdoors)

Reusable tableware at takeaways

Now you should be offered reusable tableware in restaurants and cafes that sell takeaway food. The exception is very small bakeries. But even there they should accept your utensil if you come with them, and inform you about this possibility.

Right to repair

Manufacturers of phones and tablets are required to provide repair information and spare parts for 7 years, software for 5 years. Replacement should be easy for the user.

This European law is just my dream. I can’t understand why I have to throw away a normal convenient phone in a couple of years, just because there are no spare batteries.
It is already in place for televisions, refrigerators and washing machines, parts for which should be available within 10 years. Unfortunately, there is a transitional period until the end of 2024. Then all phones and tablets sold in the EU must comply with the law.

Ban on the use of certain dyes and substances in cosmetics and tattoos

Blue and green dye are prohibited. It seems that analogs have not been invented yet.

Sun creams should reduce Benzophenon-3 and Octocrylen.

Responsibility of enterprises for counterparties

From 2023, enterprises are required to monitor how human rights, children’s rights, working conditions, and environmental standards are respected not only by themselves, but also by their counterparties. To begin with, about 900 enterprises fall under the law, then their number will increase.

However, there are no specific penalties for bad companies that do not monitor the moral purity of suppliers. So for now it looks like another bureaucratic add-on.


German ticket for local public transport

Germany monthly pass will be. It will cost 49 euros per month and will be valid on local transport throughout Germany. So that the price could be changed, 49 was removed from the name and the ticket was called Deutschlandticket.

For most season ticket holders, it makes sense to switch to this ticket, but be sure to check what bonuses you are losing on the local network abo and how many months the Kündigungsfrist is.

The ticket will only exist in digital form.

The exact date of introduction has not yet been determined, experts suggest that in April.

Driver’s license exchange continues

Next in line are drivers born in 1965-1970 with a gray or pink driver’s license (that is, issued before 1999). The previous five years must apply for the license by January 19, 2023.

Changing passenger rights

Instead of making a realistic timetable, the German railways are figuring out why they shouldn’t pay for delays. Starting from the new year, delays due to natural causes, due to suicide or a pandemic does not count.

Late again! Train delay compensation in Germany

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