Doing your tax declaration is no one’s idea of fun, but it’s helpful to do so. Most of us assume doing the tax declaration will lead in Finanzamt asking you for money, fortunately, most often you get a refund from Finanzamt after your tax declaration.
Truth is, if you have stolen money from Finanzamt, they’ll come after you even years from now thus not doing your tax declaration isn’t helping, they’ll still come after you even when you’re old and grey. On the other hand, if they (Finanzamt) owe you money, you only have 2years to get it back failure to which you lose your money.
So here are a few tips to help you get your money back 😉
1. Hand it in early
The deadline for handing in your declarations is usually 31st May. Most people wait until shortly before the deadline, i.e. April and May. Always try to hand in your tax declaration before April. This might not help you this year, but it’ll come in hardy in 2015.
2. Hand it in electronically
A good idea is to hand in your tax declaration electronically. It’s easier for the person working on your tax declaration to review a tax declaration in soft copy than in hard copy. (Read: All you need to know about ELStAM)
3. Fill it in meticulously
Be diligent as you fill in the forms to avoid subsequent questions from Finanzamt. The constant back and forth takes time and delays your refund.
4. Talk to a Tax Auditor (Steuerberater)
Visit a professional to ensure you’re paying all the required taxes and that you aren’t doing it wrong.
They can be expensive, so you could also look at trying the Lohnsteuerhilfeverein which offer the same services for free. (Read: Do you need a steuerberater?)
5. Use the newly introduced “pre-filled tax declaration forms”
Although the pre-filled forms look pretty much like the old one for the layman, the information in the forms is important for the tax auditor (Steuerberater) who helps you fill in the form as it contains all the details you’ve already forwarded to the Finanzamt