Income tax return, obligation to provide receipts

In principle, no receipts or separate statements have to be submitted with the tax return. However, the receipts must be kept for any queries from the tax office.
If, for example, expenses are incurred for the first time, it may be necessary to submit receipts for processing the tax return. In such cases, the tax office will request the receipts.
The obligation to keep receipts applies from the income tax return for the year 2017.


Receipts are only to be submitted with the income tax return if this is expressly indicated in the forms and instructions. Incidentally, the receipts must be kept (obligation to retain receipts) and only submitted when requested by the tax office.
Receipts can generally be submitted by post, e-mail, fax or by handing them in in person to the tax office. As a rule, it is not necessary to submit original receipts.
Law on the modernization of the taxation procedure of July 18, 2016 (Federal Law Gazette I p. 1679)

Related Links

  • ELSTER home page
  • Instructions for the income tax return

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