You can file taxes late

Tax return deadline: These deadlines apply to the submission!

  • who Committed is to file a tax return, the return must until July 31st Submit (2021 until August 2) of the following year to the tax office.
  • Should the tax return be submitted by a tax consultant or one Income tax aid association are completed, the deadline is extended to the last day of February of the year after next.
  • At Missed deadline you have to expect sanctions from the tax office. These include late payment surcharges, penalties, tax estimates or interest.
  • Shall you submit your tax return voluntary you have four years to submit your tax return to the tax office.

From 2019 there will be a major change in the tax return. The deadline is no longer May 31, but for the first time nationwide two months later on July 31 (in 2021 on August 2). But that is only the half truth. Because many taxpayers can take their time.

Here you can find out who has to pay attention to the tax return deadline - and who can safely submit it later. We also explain what you can do if you are late and what the tax office threatens if you miss the deadline for filing your tax return.

Who has to - and who is allowed to submit a tax return?

Before we show you the new tax dates in detail, we must first clarify who has to keep to which date. It depends on whether you are obliged to submit (“compulsory assessment”) or voluntarily (“application assessment”).
In short: those who are responsible have less time than those who donate voluntarily.

So who is obliged to submit a tax return with a deadline? First of all: self-employed, pensioners and landlords always have to submit a tax return if their income is above the basic tax allowance. In the 2018 tax year, it was 9,000 euros for singles and 18,000 euros for married couples. It will rise to EUR 9,168 (18,336) in 2019 and to EUR 9,408 (18,816) in 2020.
For everyone else, Paragraph 46 of the Income Tax Act regulates everything. And let's summarize it for you to understand. Among other things, you must submit a tax return:

  • Employees who have an income of more than 410 euros in addition to their wages, for example from renting or leasing.
  • Married couples who make the tax together (“joint assessment”) and either have tax class combination 3/5 or both have tax class 4 with a factor. The couple is also due if someone has worked in tax class 6.
  • Anyone who has received wage replacement benefits of at least 410 euros. These include unemployment benefits, parental benefits, sick pay benefits or short-time work benefits. Although they are tax-free, viewed as a whole, they can increase the tax burden, as they are subject to the progression proviso.
  • Anyone who has had an exemption entered on their income tax card, for example because the commute to work is very long. This does not apply to the child allowance as well as the survivors' and handicapped allowances.
  • Who was employed by two employers at the same time in the tax year.
  • Anyone who has received a severance payment from their former employer to which the so-called fifth rule applied.
  • Who is asked to do so by the tax office.

You can see that quite a lot of people have to file a tax return with a deadline. On the other hand, however, also that many (especially employees) are not obliged to do so.

Tax return: deadline depends on several factors

Now we come to the submission deadline for the tax return, or rather the submission deadlines.

  • If you are legally obliged to submit your tax return, your tax return must be with the tax office by July 31 of the following year at the latest from 2019. If this date falls on a weekend, the following Monday is sufficient.
  • If you cannot manage the tax on your own, for example because it is too tricky or you do not want to take the time to do it, you can consult a tax advisor or go to the income tax relief association. Then the deadline for the tax return is pushed back by seven months. Your tax return for 2019 does not have to be with the tax office until March 2nd, 2021. (Actually on the last day in February, but it's the weekend of 2020).
    BUT: You have to pay for this “luxury” properly. That is why we advise you to do the tax yourself. With our online tax return smartsteuer, this is really quick and even tax-laypeople get along well with it. The reason: We do not use tax Latin and you only have to answer simple questions.
    Not to be forgotten: The tax office can also request the submission earlier.
  • If you don't have to give up, you have plenty of time! Up to four years after the end of the relevant tax year. That means: You have a deadline of December 31, 2020 for the tax return - for the one from 2016.

Well, sounds great, one or the other will say now, but why should I do it? What if I am not obliged to? That's what the next section is about.

That is why you should give it up voluntarily

Tax return without deadline, so almost without, if you look at the four years time - why should you even do that to yourself? It's great when you don't have to worry about taxes at all. Then the question may be asked whether you would like to forego money? You see, you usually don't want that. And I'll say it very briefly. Anyone who voluntarily takes the tax can only win! Why?

Point 1: First consider why many do not have to give up? Is it because the state is nice? Definitely not! The tax authorities know that there is more likely to be nothing left to get from those who do not have to surrender. In fact, the opposite is true: in the absolute majority of cases, you will get money back from the state. According to estimates, 500 million euros remain in the treasury every year - which is actually yours.

Point 2: Make the tax return with our online solution smartsteuer. You do not take any risk, because you only have to pay when you send the declaration to the tax office. You can see in advance whether you will actually get your money back. And if the unlikely event occurs - and you have to pay additional taxes: no problem. File an objection. Withdraw the tax return within one month. Then it is as if you never submitted the tax return.

Point 3: If you hand in very late, you will even get interest on your tax refund. From 15 months after the end of the relevant tax year, you will receive 0.5 percent interest for each additional month, and an impressive 6 percent over the year.

At smartsteuer you will find the tax returns for the past tax years on this page.

Tax return: missed deadline - what to do?

It can always happen that you miss an appointment.
First of all: if you give up voluntarily, you have the four years mentioned. Whoever comes later in this case literally punishes them with life. Over is over, for good.
But who has to give up? Well, there is at least the possibility to request an extension of the deadline. What do you have to watch out for?

  • The deadline extension must be at the tax office before the actual deadline (July 31).
  • It takes a really good reason why you're late in dropping off. These include, for example: a move, a longer business trip or a stay abroad, protracted illnesses or documents that you do not yet have - but for which you are not to blame.

And how exactly does it work? You can either draw up a letter and send it to the tax office. Or you can send an email to your local tax office. And the deadline for your tax return has already been pushed back, usually by four months.

As already written on the subject of tax returns and deadlines: You still have until the end of July this year. But if you can already foresee that there is no longer enough time, it is better to apply for the deadline extension right away - or do the tax return yourself.

What are the threats in the event of a delay?

Well, once the deadline for the tax return has finally expired, it will be serious from this year, or at least more serious than before. The background: Until last year, sanctions due to the delay were primarily at the discretion of the responsible tax officer. So you could get an extension of the deadline without any problems. What it will look like this year and the later deadline cannot yet be definitively determined. There are simply no empirical values ​​yet. Actually, there should only be an extension of the deadline in serious cases. On the other hand, it is difficult to imagine that the tax office will tighten the thumbscrews so tightly in the first year of the new regulation.
Which sanctions are threatening exactly?

  • For every month that you hand in too late, 0.25 percent of the stipulated additional tax payment is due, but at least 25 euros. It is still unclear what happens if you submit your tax return “without help” late, before the deadline “with help” (ie March 2, 2020). Here the tax officer can impose the late surcharge, but is not obliged to do so. So there is again a margin of discretion. But if you only hand in after March 2, 2020, you definitely have to pay. And who did it alone, also for the months after July 31, 2019 until the end of February 2020.
  • If you receive a tax refund, the tax office can waive the late payment surcharge, but does not have to. Would make sense, because you have already given the state an interest-free loan.
  • For very serious cases, there is also the risk of a fine, a tax estimate (which actually never turns out to be in your favor) and late interest.

Deadlines briefly explained - in our video

What does that mean specifically for me?
Tax return and deadline - this station wagon changes this year. The deadline for filing the tax return moves back two months, to the end of July. But only for those who also have to give up. Volunteers still have four years to submit.