Whether you’re helping out in a café or working as a professor’s assistant, there are plenty of student jobs. However, one thing always applies:
Those who work alongside the university should know which model they are employed and what effects this has – especially with regard to taxes, insurance or BAföG. The most important information.
- Exemption for students: up to 9,000 euros per year are tax-free
- What happens if students work more than 20 hours?
- Popular and tax-free: the mini job for students
- Midijobs: Between marginal and regular employment
- Working as a student trainee: Taxes if the tax exemption is exceeded
- Short-term employment: employment model for the semester break
- Self-employment: a tax return is compulsory
- BAföG and part-time job: What do I have to consider?
Exemption for students: up to 9,000 euros per year are tax-free
First of all, those who work alongside their studies do not need to pay taxes up to an annual income of 9,000 euros (as of 2018). This allowance for students is set anew every year and is usually based on the subsistence level.
Anything above the exemption must be taxed. The tax rate due is usually relatively low. Nevertheless, it is worthwhile to weigh up in advance and, if in doubt, adjust the working hours so that the tax exemption for students is not exceeded.
What happens if students work more than 20 hours?
If students regularly work more than 20 hours per week, this has far-reaching consequences:
- Insurance protection: Instead of being able to use the usual, affordable student health insurance tariff, students then have to be insured like employees.
- BAföG: If BAföG recipients regularly work more than 20 hours per week during the lecture period, the state cancels the funding.
- Child benefit: Students are entitled to child benefit up to the age of 25 – but this is lost if they work more than 20 hours a week.
The reason for the 20-hour rule is that students should focus on studying. If you have several jobs, the total working hours must not exceed this limit. However, short-term employment with more hours during the semester break is not a problem.
Popular and tax-free: the mini job for students
An employment model that is widespread among students is the so-called mini-job. Those who practice it earn a maximum of 450 euros per month as part-time workers . Accordingly, the total annual earnings are a maximum of 5,400 euros and are generally tax-free.
As a rule, mini-jobbers do not pay any social security contributions, but only contributions to pension insurance – and they can also be exempted from these. However, they can receive both vacation and Christmas bonuses if the employer grants them. This should be taken into account when calculating the annual income in order not to exceed corresponding income limits, for example with BAföG.
Midijobs: Between marginal and regular employment
The so-called mid-job or sliding zone case is located as a work model between regular employment and mini-job. The income is between 451 and 850 euros. Depending on the level of earnings, the social security contributions for the employee increase up to the full employee share of 20 percent.
The transitional regulation also applies if students have several jobs and do not earn more than 850 euros in total.
Students who are employed according to the mid- job model do not need to pay long-term care and unemployment insurance . However, wage and income tax are due.
Working as a student trainee: Taxes if the tax exemption is exceeded
The employment model “working student” has advantages for both the employee and the employer. Both pay pension contributions, but other social contributions such as contributions to unemployment, health and long-term care insurance do not apply.
The 20 hours per week rule also applies to working students. Exceptions:
- Overtime in the evening or at night is allowed.
- During the semester break, working students are allowed to work indefinitely.
- A working student may work more than 20 hours per week in 26 weeks a year (182 calendar days), otherwise he loses his status as a working student in the social security system.
There are no earnings limits for working students. However, if they exceed the tax exemption, they have to prepare a tax return .
Short-term employment: employment model for the semester break
The working model of short-term employment suits students who only work during the semester break. It means that the employee does not work for an employer for more than 70 days – over the whole year – or that the student job is limited to three months.
This income is also exempt from social security, the employer does not pay any taxes. Benefits:
- No wage caps
- No limit on weekly working hours
However, these jobs are usually taxable.
Self-employment: a tax return is compulsory
In addition to studying, students can also work independently on a fee basis. Those who are self-employed write an invoice to the client and receive their fee.
The self-employed have to take care of the taxation of their income and apply for a tax number at the tax office. Incidentally, students who work independently often fall under the so-called small business regulation. It applies if he does not have a turnover of more than 17,500 euros in the first year. Then he can be exempted from sales tax.
BAföG and part-time job: What do I have to consider?
Basically, the higher the income, the less support there is in accordance with the guidelines for the Vocational Training Assistance Act (BAföG). In principle, additional income even at the maximum BAföG rate is not a problem. However, the annual income must not exceed the limit of 5,400 euros per year .
Attention : According to the BAföG guidelines, this includes not only part-time jobs, but also other incomes such as:
- (Half) orphan’s pension
- Gross training or internship remuneration including benefits in kind
- Other pensions
- Income from employment, commercial operations, renting and leasing, agriculture and forestry
- Income from capital assets (savings interest)
- Scholarships and other donations from companies or foundations over 300 euros per month