assess income tax Unfortunately this specification of service has not yet been completely translated.

Based on the information you provide in your tax return, the tax office issues the income tax assessment. The amount of tax depends on the amount of income. When calculating the income, the expenses incurred for work ("income-related expenses"), insurance contributions, medical expenses and various other expense items are also taken into account.


The obligation to file the income tax return depends on the types of income the income consists of and the amount of the income.

1) If only wages are received for which income tax has already been withheld, there is an obligation to file an income tax return only under certain conditions, e.g. if

  • the wages were received from several employers,
  • in the case of spouses/life partners, the tax class combination III / V or IV / IV with factor has been applied during the year,
  • an allowance has been taken into account for the deduction of wage tax and the wage earned in the calendar year 2021 exceeds 12,550 euros (for 2022: 13,150 euros) or, in the case of married couples/life partners assessed jointly, a total of 23,900 euros (for 2022: 24,950 euros),
  • the employer has not determined the wage tax for other remuneration (such as bonuses, severance pay) in accordance with the rules for current wages,
  • parents who are not assessed jointly apply for a different division than the half division of an allowance for education away from home or for a disability allowance to which a joint child is entitled.

2) If the income is composed of other income (e.g. rental income, pensions, self-employment/commercial activity) in addition to wages , the tax declaration obligation depends on the amount of the other income.

As far as this (other) income exceeds the amount of 410 Euro in the calendar year, there is an obligation to file an income tax return.

The annual amount of 410 euros also applies to the receipt of basically tax-free wage replacement benefits (e.g. unemployment benefit, sickness benefit, parental benefit). Since these benefits have an influence on the amount of the tax rate (so-called progression proviso), a tax return must also be submitted if the amount of 410 euros is exceeded.

3) If, on the other hand, no salary is received, but the income consists exclusively of other income (e.g. rental income, pensions, self-employment/commercial activity), an income tax return must be filed if the total amount of income exceeds the so-called basic allowance. This requires an examination in each individual case.

In 2022, this basic tax-free amount is

  • single persons: 10,347 EURO / in 2021: 9,744 EURO
  • for jointly taxed spouses/life partners: 20,694 EURO / in 2021: 19,488 EURO.

Information on the simplified declaration for retirement income can be found under Publications.

  • Einkommensteuergesetz
  • Einkommensteuer-Durchführungsverordnung
  • Informationen zur Vereinfachten Erklärung für Alterseinkünfte

If, among other things, income is generated from commercial or self-employed activities, the tax return must always be submitted electronically. The free software of the tax authorities (ELSTER procedure; is available for this purpose. In all other cases, the tax return can also be submitted in person or by mail.

The tax office checks the information and then issues a tax assessment in paper form. If the tax return is submitted via ELSTER, the tax assessment can also be sent in electronic form. You will then be notified by e-mail when the tax assessment can be accessed electronically. In order to protect tax secrecy, the tax assessment is only made available in encrypted form. To retrieve the data, the encrypted file must first be downloaded to the user's own PC and decrypted using the selected authentication method.

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