Tax Refund Calculator - Germany

Calculate how much tax refund you can receive when you file a tax return

Average tax refund is 1.051€. File your tax returns today using Taxfix →

Why should I file a tax return?

Taxpayers who are obliged to file an assessment can still submit a tax return for 2020 until the end of July 2021.

In 2018, there were around 26.3 million taxpayers in Germany with unlimited tax liability who generated income exclusively from employment and possibly capital income.

14.3 million of these taxpayers had their income tax assessed. Of these, 12.6 million taxpayers received a tax refund.

This amounted to an average of 1,072 euros. Refunds of between 100 and 1,000 euros were particularly common (57%). For 8% of those affected, the refund was less than 100 euros. The tax offices refunded amounts in excess of 5,000 euros in 2% of cases.

1.5 million taxpayers had to make an additional payment to the tax office - the average amount was 1,152 euros. Like the refunds, the additional payments were particularly frequent in the range between 100 and 1,000 euros (55%). Smaller amounts of less than 100 euros had to be paid by 23% of taxpayers. By contrast, only 3% of taxpayers had to pay large sums in excess of EUR 5,000.


Tax Allowances in 2023

Use the tax refund calculator to find out how much tax return you can receive

Tax Class → 1 2 3 4 5 6
Basic Allowance 9.984 € 9.984 € 19.968 € 9.984 € No No
Employee lump-sum 1.000 € 1.000 € 1.000 € 1.000 € 1.000 € No
Standard special expenses lump-sum 36 € 36 € 36 € 36 € 36 € No
Single parent relief amount No 4.008 € No No No No
Child Allowance 8.388 € 8.388 € 8.388 € 4.194 € No No

Progressive Tax Rates - 2023

Income Range for Singles Income Range for Married Tax Rate %
< 9.984 € < 19.968 € 0%
9.985 - 58.596 € 19.989 - 117.192 € 14 to 42% *
58.597 - 277.825 € 117.193 - 555.650 € 42% *
Over 277.825 € Over 555.650 € 45% *

* Since Germany uses a Progressive Tax Rate, your income tax increases progressively with taxable income.

Frequently Asked Questions about Tax Refund for Germany

Written by Adithya Srinivasan

When you file a Tax Return or Tax Declaration, you have a chance of receiving a tax refund. This calculator aims to help you estimate what you may receive based on your situation. The Tax Office (Finanzamt) is responsible for handling your tax returns.

What is a tax return or tax declaration?
If you are an employee, income tax (Lohnsteuer) is automatically deducted from your salary every month, over the year. When you file a tax return or declaration, you can check if you paid what you owe in tax or not.
What happens when I paid less or more tax?
If you paid more tax than you needed to, you receive a tax refund.
If you paid less tax than you needed to, you receive a letter to pay the balance.
Will I receive a tax refund every time I file a tax return?
According to the Federal Statistical Office, 9 out of 10 people who file a tax return received a tax refund. In most cases, when a voluntary tax return is filed, a refund is likely.
So how do I file a tax return?
You can use ELSTER (in German). It can be quite complicated, if it is your first time. I use Taxfix which covers my taxes for full-time employment and is available in English.
Do I have to file a tax return? When is it mandatory?
A lot of factors come into this. Some of the most common ones are listed below.
Income for employees:
  • Additional income of more than 410€ per year - yes
  • Received sickness pay (Krankengeld) - yes
  • Received parental allowance (Elterngeld) - yes
  • Different tax classes for you & your partner - yes
  • Changed Jobs in the same year - yes
  • Income from abroad - yes
  • Would like to apply for tax deductions - yes

  • Income through self-employment: Yes
Should I file a tax return if it is voluntary?
You do not have to. If you relocated to Germany for the first time or if you have tax-deductible expenses (Donations, Commuting costs, Job application costs, long-term insurances, etc), it would be a good idea to file a tax return.
If your tax class has changed, you should file a tax return.
I only worked half a year, should I file a tax return?
Yes. Your income tax is calculated with an assumption that you will work for the entire year. So you will pay at a higher tax rate or amount initially. So if you leave your job earlier, you stand a good chance for a refund.
What are the deadlines for a tax return?
If you file it yourself for a mandatory tax return, it is usually July 31st. For this year, you can file a tax return until October 31, 2022.
If you use a tax consultant (Steuerberater), you get another year or so to file it.
How long can I not file tax returns for?
For voluntary tax returns, you have up to four years to file the tax return. A tax consultant can file it later for you.
Should I hire a tax consultant to file my returns?
A tax consultant can submit your tax returns for you. They can be expensive and are usually relative to your income.
Can I get an extension?
Under special conditions, it is possible. Write a letter to your Finanzamt explaining your case.
How long does Finanzamt take to process a tax return?
Usually 4 to 12 weeks. My tax returns (3 years in a row) were processed within 5 weeks in Berlin, Charlottenburg. This depends on your Finanzamt.