In Germany, each employee has to pay income tax on all income for one calendar year. Each month, the companies/employers automatically transfer the tax from the gross salary to the tax office. They also deduct “solidarity surcharge” and, depending on the employee’s religious faith, “church tax”. Insurance for pension, health, nursing and unemployment insurances is also subtracted from your gross salary and paid by the employers. All transfers made by the employer and the net salary may be reenacted in the monthly payslip.
An income tax declaration has to be submitted, regularly until the end of May of the following year. The tax declaration can be created via “Elster”, an online tax declaration system.
About 90% of the taxpayers receive a refund, on average, about 900€.
Very often expats arrive and register in Germany before their family does. In this case, the registration office classifies the expats to the tax class group 1/unmarried. Class 1 taxpayers pay higher taxes than the other classes. After the registration of the wife or husband, we recommend changing the classes to 3/5 immediately in order to save money. The difference of the previously paid tax deductions will be refunded after the hand in of the income tax declaration.
You will find a tax class form in the downloads section.