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Filing the tax return: These deadlines apply
Filing the tax return: These deadlines apply

Video: Filing the tax return: These deadlines apply

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Video: 2021 Tax Deadlines | CPA EXPLAINS | 2021 Business & Personal Tax Due Dates 2023, January
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Submitting the tax return within the deadline drives many a sweat bead up every year. But there is good news: From 2019, the deadline for filing the tax return has been extended. At the same time, there are now more severe consequences for those who submit them too late. Read here which deadlines apply and how you can legally save yourself some more time.

Table of contents Table of contents Submission of tax return: These deadlines apply

  • When does the deadline for income tax returns end?
  • Who is required to file a tax return?
  • When does the submission deadline for the voluntary tax return end?
  • Will it be more expensive if I miss deadlines?
  • How long does it take to process the tax return?

Table of contents Table of contents Submission of tax return: These deadlines apply

  • When does the deadline for income tax returns end?
  • Who is required to file a tax return?
  • When does the submission deadline for the voluntary tax return end?
  • Will it be more expensive if I miss deadlines?
  • How long does it take to process the tax return?

When does the deadline for income tax returns end?

The deadline for submitting the tax return is clearly regulated in §149 of the tax code. However, the last possible time of submission depends on who is dealing with it: yourself or, for example, a tax advisor. If you take care of it yourself, there is significantly less time for submission than if you leave the explanation to a professional.

Tax return - submission deadline without consultant

If the tax return is made by yourself, the main filing deadline at the tax office was 31 May for many years. As of 2019, it is now July 31 of the year following the assessment period. Specifically, this means that you now have two months longer to file the income tax return. The declaration for 2018 does not have to be submitted until July 31, 2019, the one for 2019 on July 31, 2020.

Anyone who voluntarily makes an income tax return has four years as before.

Tax return - submission deadline with consultant

Anyone who does not submit the declaration himself, but commissions a tax advisor or income tax relief association to do so, also has a longer period of time from now on: Previously, there was a deadline for submitting it until December 31 of the year following the assessment period.

In this case, an extension of two months has been new since 2019. If a tax advisor takes over the tax return, he has until the last February day of the second year after the assessment period to file the return with the tax office.

Example: The declaration for 2018 can be submitted by the tax advisor due to the leap year until March 2, 2020 (February 29 is a Saturday, so the deadline is extended until the next working day), for 2019 until March 1 2021 (since February 28 is a Sunday).

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Missing documents, moving house or a special professional burden may lead to you being given an extension.

Photo: iStock / gopixa

Who is required to file a tax return?

The deadline for the tax return only applies to those taxpayers who are obliged to submit a tax return to the tax office. If this concerns, is clearly regulated in §46 income tax law. These people have to file a tax return:

  • People with additional income

    If an employee has additional income in addition to wages or salary (e.g. from a rental), he may be required to file a tax return. However, this only applies if the income from renting, leasing or pensions exceeds 410 euros per year.

  • Recipients of wage replacement benefits

    If unemployment, parental, sick or short-time work benefits were received in the tax year, a tax return must also be submitted if these benefits have exceeded 410 euros.

  • People with multiple employers

    If salary is received from several employers (tax class VI), a tax return must also be submitted.

  • Married couples

    If a couple has a tax class combination III and V or class IV with a factor, there is also an obligation to file a tax return with the tax office. This is also the case if you divorced and you or your ex-partner remarried in the same year.

  • Spouse / life partner with individual assessment

    If one of the spouses has opted for an individual assessment, the other partner is also obliged to submit a tax return.

  • pensioner

    Pensioners are affected if their income exceeds the basic allowance of € 9, 168 for single people and € 18, 336 for married couples per year.

  • Individuals with an individual allowance

    If there is an individual allowance (e.g. for travel expenses or childcare) that reduces the monthly wage tax, a tax return must also be submitted to the tax office within the deadline.

  • Self-employed

    Anyone who earns their income independently will not be able to avoid making a tax return.

  • Prompted

    The tax office sometimes asks people to file a tax return. If this is the case for you, you must comply with the request on time.

When does the submission deadline for the voluntary tax return end?

Anyone who does not have to make a declaration, but does so voluntarily, must still adhere to a deadline when filing the tax return. However, this is much broader: there is then a whole four years to submit the documents to the tax office. The tax return for 2018 should therefore be submitted by December 31, 2022 at the latest. If you expect a refund, however, you should submit the declaration earlier in order to get your money faster.

Will it be more expensive if I miss deadlines?

So far, tax officials have had a lot of discretion when it comes to imposing sanctions on time-lapses. You were free to decide whether a delay surcharge should be set and how high it might be. This has now changed.

From the 2018 tax year there are fixed rates for missed deadlines: If you submit your tax return late, you'll get your money's worth! In this case, 0.25 percent of the tax stipulated will also be due, but at least 25 euros per late month. This is regulated in §152 of the Tax Code (AO).

And even if these amounts still seem quite small, you should not take the tax return lightly: The maximum allowable amount of the delay surcharge is 25, 000 euros. The tax official now has only a very limited possibility of discretion: Only up to 14 months after the end of the taxation period can he decide whether a delay surcharge is due. The process is then automated: anyone who does not submit their tax return within 14 months of the end of the taxation period must pay the late surcharge. Unless an extension of the deadline has been requested in writing.

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If the required documents for the tax return arrive late at the tax office, an additional 0.25 percent of the specified tax is due, but at least 25 euros per late month.

Photo: iStock / andrei_r

How long does it take to process the tax return?

The date by which you have to submit the tax return is clearly regulated. How much time the tax office can then take to process the declaration, however not. This is particularly annoying when reimbursement is expected and the money is urgently needed.

In a survey by the federal taxpayers' association, the federal state of Bremen emerged as the clear bottom in the processing time. Here taxpayers wait up to 62 days for the decision, while in Berlin - the fastest state in terms of tax assessments - it is issued after 48 days.

Nationwide, it can be expected around 50 days before a decision is sent for tax returns.

Nadine Kleber

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