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The 7 costly mistakes to avoid when filing your tax return

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This year the accounting with the tax office is even trickier than usual. Which blunders can be avoided in the last few meters until the submission? With the extended deadline of November 1at, find out the 7 costly mistakes you should avoid!

The tax return for the Corona year 2020 must be at the tax office on November 1st. Those who are dutiful and take matters into their own hands are gradually feeling the pressure. Because the deadline was extended, but not indefinitely. In federal states with a public holiday , November 2nd is the last deadline – don’t wait until the very last moment. The following 7 costly mistakes that can be tough:

Mistake 1: Ignoring the taxes and tax returns

The most expensive mistake is to drop the sails completely and not make a statement at all. It is estimated that up to 25 percent of the approximately 40 million employees regularly duck. But caution is advised this year.

Anyone who received unemployment benefits or insolvency benefits in 2020, short-time work benefits, sickness benefits or childcare benefits, must in any case settle with the tax office – and always when the benefits exceeded 410 euros. This means that there will be a lot more citizens than usual. Spouses and life partners also have no choice if they are assessed together and one of them has tax class V or VI.

More and more retirees and retirees have to settle accounts. Diving is not possible. The tax office is guaranteed to get in touch and, if necessary, impose penalties.


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Mistake 2: Forgetting what you spent on in 2020

Forgetfulness is also costly. Countless tenants and owners regularly fail to state their costs for craftsmen in the house as well as for household-related services from the annual consumption bill. The tax authorities are happy.

The same thing happens when it comes to pension expenses. Employees are allowed to deduct their contributions for the Riester or Rürup pension from tax. But taxpayers very often forget to actually list them in their tax returns. This means that payments usually in the hundreds of euros are neglected.

The long-term application for state allowances is also often lost. Likewise, bills for the craftsman, proof of the dental surgery, the receipts for the specialist books, the logbook for the company car: All of this could help save on taxes – if the receipts could only be found. Tip for next year: regularly collect receipts and bills in a shoe box. Then nothing is lost anymore.

This time around, there can be a lot of money for short-time workers. The following trick can pay off for you: married short-time workers choose the individual tax return instead of the usual combined tax assessment. If both give up separately, the splitting advantage is lost. The trick usually pays off anyway.

Affected married couples and registered partners should check carefully or have a consultant calculate whether this option will pay off for them, recommends Georgiadis.

Mistake 4: Concealing medical expenses

Treatments by doctors, alternative practitioners, physiotherapists and speech therapists are deductible. The same applies to medication, nursing homes, operations, cures, glasses, hearing aids or wheelchairs. But: The tax authorities only help if a reasonable personal contribution is exceeded. How high the limit is for each individual depends on income, marital status and the number of children.

Because many citizens believe that the hurdle is unattainably high anyway, they often do not claim any expenses at all. Every cent of extraordinary burdens should be entered. This is because the Federal Constitutional Court is currently examining whether the reasonable personal burden does not violate the Basic Law (Az: 2 BvR 1936/17). If the expense limit is actually tipped, the subsequent recognition of the full health care costs is very likely – and brings a lot of money.

Mistake 5: Entering expenses in the wrong sections/columns

This classic is particularly expensive: Those who make their tax in a hurry tend to slip in line. For example, the self-financed further training costs do not end up in the “Further training” column, but in the “general income-related expenses”. The tax officer then removes the budgeted expenses from the wrong lines. But he does not enter them in the correct lines. So the costs are lost.

Mistake 6: Not updating bank details

Have you changed banks without giving the new details on your tax return? You got a divorce, but the tax office still has your ex’s account number on file? Or has a twisted number crept into the long IBAN? Such blunders happen a thousand times over. The tax refund will then be delayed or not wired at all.

Mistake 7: Missing the objection deadline

Mistakes in the tax return can often be straightened out. Because: As soon as the tax assessment is in the mailbox of the tax office, the citizen has one month to lodge an objection. Until the end of this period, the notification can be checked again for imbalances. A lot of money can be at stake this time, especially for short-time workers. Those who do not trust themselves to do the check can hire income tax aid associations or tax advisors. But: If the deadline is missed, nothing works.

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