Interview with financial expert Simon Neumann: Expert tips: How to get more out of your tax return – knowledge

As you know, the tax return can get on your nerves. Photo: Antonio Guillem / Shutterstock.com


Save a lot of taxes and demand deductions with as little effort as possible? Financial expert Simon Neumann provides useful tips on everything to do with tax returns.

Control quickly and easily and save time and nerves at the same time? Year after year, filing taxes is a headache for many. Financial expert Simon Neumann, author of “100 Tax Tips and Tricks” (Haufe), makes it clear: “No one needs to be afraid of the tax return!” In an interview with the news agency spot on news, he put together his favorite tax tips and cleared up some myths.

benefits in kind

“From 2022, an employee can receive up to 50 euros a month as a benefit in kind in addition to the salary, and it is completely tax-free for them. In order for the amount to be deducted, it must not be paid in cash or with the salary as a real cash benefit. It is possible to use vouchers, fuel cards, a gym membership, a mobile phone contract with a mobile phone, prepaid credit cards, etc. So you must not explicitly reduce the gross salary by 50 euros and use the benefit in kind for it – it is not allowed. this means that the value of the benefit in kind within a month must not be 1 cent higher than the 50 euros, otherwise the entire tax benefit will be completely eliminated. “

Household expenses

“Every tenant, but also many owners of owner-occupied properties, have exactly such costs. These include tasks such as house and window cleaning, garden maintenance, caretaker service, winter service and outpatient care, which could actually also be performed by the residents, but through a company or a service provider It is important that there is an invoice and that these costs were not paid in cash. As a tenant, you should therefore look at the last operating and side expense statement, and you will usually find expenses for such services / work there. After all, 20 percent of the labor costs incurred will be reimbursed up to a maximum reimbursement amount of 4,000 euros from this area. “

Home office fixed rate

“Home office is usually associated with higher costs for electricity, gas and water consumption and higher heating costs. To take these (more) costs into account, the home office’s fixed rate has been introduced, which can now be used from the tax. Year 2020 It applies first and especially for the year 2022, what comes after is currently still being discussed at the political level, so that the person in question does not have to painstakingly reduce the additional costs, which in reality is often difficult or even impossible, one can simplify Withdrawals 5 euros a day at the home office in max. 120 days a year This can result in a total of 600 euros in advertising costs Important: On the days when you set the home office flat for rate, do not also calculate the distance – or use a kilometer fixed rate for a commute. “

Sell ​​mobile phone, landline and internet contracts

“If the manager, team leader or perhaps even customers can reach you on your private mobile or landline number, or if you use your local internet connection when working from home, there is a professional connection and part of the cost can be deducted per result There are two different methods for determining what percentage of professional use really is:



  1. You keep a so-called usage diary over a longer period of time, for example three months, where you enter private and professional calls, messages or usage times and which then allows you to calculate your shares relatively accurately. This percentage can now be applied to the entire year and the costs paid.
  2. 20 percent of the costs incurred up to an annual amount of 240 euros are set as a fixed rate and without individual registrations.

For the tax office, the values ​​must be plausible, and depending on the professional group, higher percentages are also completely normal. “

Use employee savings supplements for stock and ETF savings schemes

“If the income is below certain limits and you meet the requirements of a legitimate contract, such as a home savings contract or an ETF, fund or stock savings, the state subsidizes the contributions paid up to a maximum limit as follows:

  1. housing savings 9 percent of a maximum of 470 euros for singles or 940 euros for married couples per year gives up to 43 euros or 86 euros.
  2. Securities savings 20 percent of a maximum of EUR 400 for singles or EUR 800 for married couples per year gives up to EUR 80 or EUR 160.

And that guarantees the state. If you want to use the maximum subsidy for yourself, you can even save in parallel with a housing savings contract and securities savings to get both subsidies. In general, however, such a legal contract must always run for at least seven years, and six of these years must be saved up so that funding is not lost. Finally, I would like to draw attention to two tax myths … “

Once a treasure, always a treasure

“This widespread assumption often means that people prefer not to bother with their own tax return for fear of being forced to do so every year by the tax office. There are only roughly two groups when it comes to filing a tax return: those who have obligation to pay the fee, and those who may pay it voluntarily But if you do not belong to this group as a regular employee or as a civil servant, as an apprentice or double student, you can make a new decision personally each year (registered income tax exemption), marriages in tax class 3/5 or 4/4 and pensioners (from the basic allowance). “

Danger of further payment through tax return by voluntary submission

“You should not be afraid of an additional payment if you have voluntarily submitted your tax return. If the tax office in such a case issues a tax assessment and demands an additional payment, then you have the right to withdraw your tax return. Afterwards. A simple letter of objection.”

Do not be afraid of the tax return

“And the most important tip comes at the end: Do not be afraid of the tax return! By that I mean that you should always dare as a minimum to calculate your personal repayment claim every year without obligation … be it in free Elster online or if you have suffered help, you would like to be part of one of the many tax savings programs – the calculation itself is usually free there, and a fee is only paid when you send the tax return, so you know at least quickly and efficiently if it is worth it for you and if not, then at least you have the certainty of not having paid too much tax. These and many other tips I give in my new book ‘The 100 Tax Tips and Tricks’. “

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