Saturday 29 June 2013

Taxes in Germany

taxes, Germany, tough

The tax system in Germany is in my opinion very bad. The reason why I do not like it is because you fill out your details as you should and then in the end of it you have no clue how much money you should either pay to them or receive back.

What I have previously done was to use a computer program called Elster formular to fill out all the details and then either print it out sign it and send it to the tax office or simple send it via the program to the tax office. Very convenient but still... it says nothing how much to get back or to pay in.
This spring I decided to use a commercial program that is more informing and asking questions to you while filling it out to try to get you to not miss informing the tax office of deductible items. According to the program I was supposed to get 741 € back.
I just received the papers from the tax office saying that I will receive 361 € back on my taxes. There is no explanation for what and which deductions that they refused to give me and they say that I have one month to complain about their decision which is insane because it is not easy to figure out what to complain about when they do not give an explanation for what they have refused and why they refused it.

So no transparency at all which, of course, is to the benefit of:

A. The government
B. People that can afford to use tax lawyers for filing and following up their tax returns.

I´ve lived in several countries in Europe and Germany for tax purposes are by far the worst one. That said... I am happy that I received 361 € back especially now when I am down on half salary.

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