Taxes in Germany

Taxes in Germany

Comments3 comments

If you're living in Germany long-term, you will be subject to file a German tax return. Let us guide you through the maze of taxes in Germany.

If you're employed, self-employed, run a business, or buy or inherit a property in Germany, you'll most likely be liable to pay tax. Of course, there is also value added tax on certain items you buy. You might also be liable for tax in your home country too.

Germany imposes income tax (applicable in every one of the 16 federal states of Germany) and a Solidarity Surcharge Law on individuals. Anyone carrying on a trade or business (including the self-employed) is also subject to business tax and municipal business tax - this is levied on all business enterprises in Germany, regardless of their legal form. Under the Church Tax Law, individual members of recognised churches are also subject to church tax.

Germany also levies value added tax, real estate transfer tax, an annual municipal tax on real property and a tax on insurance premiums.

For more information regarding taxes in Germany, read our articles on:

Please note: The information contained within the following articles is for guidance only and you should always seek the help of an accountant or similar professional for specific tax advice pertinent to your own situation.

The Bundeszentralamt für Steuern (Federal Central Tax Office) has information in English on its website.

Dorine Fraai / Expatica

Comment here on the article, or if you have a suggestion to improve this article, please click here.

If you believe any of the information on this page is incorrect or out-of-date, please let us know. Expatica makes every effort to ensure its articles are as comprehensive, accurate and up-to-date as possible, but we're also grateful for any help! (If you want to contact Expatica for any other reason, please follow the instructions on this website's contact page.)

Captcha Note: Characters are case sensitive
The details you provide on this page will not be used to send any unsolicited e-mail, and will not be sold to a third party. Privacy policy .

3 Comments To This Article

  • webwander posted:

    on 23rd April 2017, 15:54:48 - Reply

    You should NEVER through away your pay slips. Always file them and keep.

    If you don't like papers, scan them and keep them electronically.
  • Christina posted:

    on 18th August 2016, 19:11:58 - Reply

    Hi there,

    I am wondering if you must keep the paper copy of your payslip for tax purposes or can I throw them out each month?


    [Moderator's note: You can also post questions on our Ask the Expert service]

  • Matt posted:

    on 2nd February 2015, 21:57:24 - Reply

    Unpleasant, but must do each month :) I will just add a couple things how I did my tax declaration 2 years ago and got most of the taxes paid back. Should help you, too guys. It's just step by step guide on how to get a lot from your taxes back -